March 2016

Welcome to 
WISHIN Connections, the monthly e-Newsletter from the Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network (WISHIN).  We will keep you up to date with WISHIN activities, news on health information exchange (HIE) and new product developments.
WISHIN Plays a Role in Statewide Battle to Curb Opioid Abuse

Last month Gov. Walker signed a number of bills to support a statewide effort to address opioid abuse. These measures are intended to contain what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls an "ongoing prescription drug overdose epidemic."

WISHIN is playing a role in helping clinicians prescribe opioids appropriately and remain vigilant in preventing abuse. Because the WISHIN Pulse community health record is integrated with the state's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) database, clinicians can easily and seamlessly access any history of controlled-substance use in the context of the patient's overall health history.

The trend of opioid abuse has hit hard in Wisconsin. "Since 2008, more people in Wisconsin die from drug poisoning than from car crashes," State Health Officer and WISHIN Board member Karen McKeown told Wisconsin Public Radio in September.
Last September the CDC awarded Wisconsin a four-year grant for more than $4 million to prevent opioid abuse.

"The prescription drug overdose epidemic requires a multifaceted approach, and states are key partners in our efforts on the front lines to prevent overdose deaths," said Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. "With this funding, states can improve their ability to track the problem, work with insurers to help providers make informed prescribing decisions, and take action to combat this epidemic."

Some of the grant money will be used to improve the state PDMP, which helps health care providers, law enforcement and designated government agencies to track the amount of controlled substances prescribed to a patient.

Care providers using WISHIN Pulse can view PDMP data at the point of care about their patients' history of prescribed controlled substance use. The data is displayed in addition to the clinical data shared by other participants without separately signing into the PDMP system. Care providers can use the PDMP medication list to help inform medical decisions as they work with their patients and potentially spot at-risk users.

According to the CDC website, since 1999, the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioid pain relievers and heroin) nearly quadrupled. The CDC reports that prescription opioid pain relievers specifically are a driving factor in the overdose deaths with sales of prescription opioids also quadrupling since 1999.

Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network | Company | (608) 274-1820 | w[email protected] | | PO Box 259038 | Madison, WI 53725-9038