Ochsner Health System Adds Louisiana Prescription Monitoring Program To Its Daily Operations

Platform aims to comabt opioid abuse

 NEW ORLEANS – Ochsner Health System physicians can now access a new, advanced electronic health records platform aimed at helping combat opioid addition and substance abuse.

Louisiana is the sixth-highest state the U.S for written opioid prescriptions. In 2016, 561 people died from opioid addiction statewide.

"Ochsner Health System started an opioid stewardship program in 2016 to address the opioid issue," said Debbie Simonson, vice-president of pharmacy services for the Ochsner Health System.

A partnership with the Appriss Health PMP Gateway platform system allows for cutting-edge, highly-integrated prescription data to be accessed immediately by doctors to see a patient's prescription history—including if the patient is getting prescriptions from different states.

Prior to working with Appriss Health, physicians and pharmacists needed to log into a separate website in order to retrieve a patient’s controlled substance dispensations from the state database and then cross-reference that data with a patient’s health information. It was a very complicated and time-consuming process.

“One of the big things with these electronic medical records is how we integrate that into day-to-day prescribing,” Simonson said. "By doing this, we are creating a more complete picture of our patients as we make better informed clinical decisions about their appropriate medical treatment, while engaging in more ‘real’ conversations with our patients about their health and well-being.”

In addition to day-to-day prescribing by doctors, the Appriss Health platform also has advanced pain-management guidelines for emergency room doctors, including a patient “calculator,” that suggests pain medication dosage based on patient data such as age, weight and prescription history, including patients on opioids already.

The calculator gives patients a "morphine equivalent" based on their statistics, Simonson said.

Simonson said this new platform has been implemented by all of Ochsner’s clinics, pharmacies and ambulatory teams. The health system has also shared their findings and outcomes from the platform with other organizations and hospitals.

There are now 32 states using the Appriss Health’s PMP Gateway platform, according to Simonson. About 25 million transactions are being completed per month through the platform.

“Guidelines from the Center for Disease Control put more emphasis on making sure emergency departments did not treat pain (with opioids), and that we need to refer them to primary care doctor,” Simonson said.

The best medicine is prevention

Ochsner has several programs at its facilities in New Orleans and on the North Shore aimed at preventing opioid addition and providing resources for those who are addicted.

“We piloted a virtual-reality program, whereby patients having a procedure can decrease any associated pain by changing their area of mental focus,” Simonson said.

The Ochsner pain team and community outreach team are working to address other effective non-opioid pain regimens, including making sure parents learn about the dangers of children finding pain pills in their parents or grandparents' medicine cabinets.

On the North Shore, patients have support groups and suboxone groups. Doctors are obtaining more study grants and working with other health systems in other states in order to see what’s working, Simonson said.

“All this data uses modern, valuable tools to help us make sure we don’t miss something; our goal is to take better care of our patients,” Simonson said.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags


  • COOLinary


    During the month of August, experience cuisine that delights your palate and is an integral part of the history and culture of New Orleans. This...

  • 2018 Regional Infrastructure Conference Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) Gulf Coast Chapter (GCC)


    Join the Construction Management Association of America – Gulf Coast Chapter (CMAA GCC) for the 2018 Regional Infrastructure Conference being...

  • Upcoming Auditions Near New Orleans, LA


    To schedule an audition, please visit the website provided, https://ait.careers. Any questions about current or upcoming auditions should be...

  • Biz Night at Galatoire's 33


    Looking to promote your business and network with local professionals? Register today for Biz New Orleans' Strictly Biz Night. Join us this month...

  • The Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana’s “Blue Door Blues” Gala


    The Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana is proud to announce its annual fundraiser, “Blue Door Blues.” The gala, scheduled for Thursday,...

  • Fund 17 Summer Happy Hour


    This fall, Fund 17 will open a new resource center for entrepreneurs. Join us for a networking happy hour and exclusive look at the plans for this...

  • Networking Happy Hour


    Join us for the next installment in our quarterly New Orleans networking event series! We’re opening our doors and inviting the regional bio,...

  • Jefferson Chamber Golf Classic


    Enjoy a day on the links with business friends, clients or prospects, and network with Jefferson Chamber leadership, board members and key decision...

  • Spice of Life Women's Expo Northshore


    Bring your friends to shop, socialize and learn at this fun-filled, energetic Ladies Day Out. Exciting Speakers Presenting Interesting and Relevant...

  • You Are Not Alone


    The Counseling Solutions program of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans is collaborating with the Substance Addiction Ministry of the...

  • Biz Night at Royal Sonesta


    Looking to promote your business and network with local professionals? Register today for Biz New Orleans' Strictly Biz Night. Join us this...

Show More...