Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Opioid tool on MHS GENESIS improves patient safety

Pharmacist holding out prescription bottle The Opioid Clinical Decision Support Tool helps providers make critical prescription decisions. Nearly 1,000 providers have used the tool since it went live in March 2020. The tool triggers, on average, 81 times a day across seven military medical treatment facilities. (Photo by Jason W. Edwards, Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs)

Recommended Content:

Opioid Safety | Pain Management | MHS GENESIS Toolkit | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS

Providers often prescribe opioids to patients dealing with severe pain. While effective for pain management, opioids can also be highly addictive. Patients can have adverse effects like overdose or death when an opioid is paired with other drugs or given to a patient with high-risk health conditions. As Aug. 31 is recognized as International Overdose Awareness Day, the Military Health System takes the time to recognize the importance of opioid safety. Service members operate in an environment where day-to-day performance is vital to defending the nation.

“Although the active duty population has significantly lower rates of opioid addiction and abuse than the civilian population, the Military Health System takes a proactive approach to combat opioid overuse, misuse, and diversion,” said Air Force Maj. (Dr.) David Alt, deputy chief of User Acceptance and Analysis at the Defense Health Agency. “We hope to serve as a role model for pain management across the care continuum."

This proactive approach led to a new tool within the military’s new electronic health record, MHS GENESIS. The Opioid Clinical Decision Support Tool screens a patient’s medical history before an opioid is prescribed. The tool looks at other opioid prescriptions, behavioral health history, co-prescription of sedatives like benzodiazepines, and laboratory drug tests. It then creates an alert that lets providers know about multiple high-risk conditions and allows them to modify the orders in real time.

Before this tool was implemented, providers received multiple overlapping alerts for the same issue. While useful for noticing prescription conflicts, Alt said the potential volume could lead to “alert fatigue” ­ health care providers receiving so many warnings that they become desensitized and potentially ignore them. He added the decision tool prevents this alert fatigue by consolidating all the opioid-related alerts onto a single screen, ensuring the provider gets the right information.

“The tool makes it easier for providers to do the right thing, and harder to do the wrong thing,” Alt said. “And ultimately that makes it safer for the patient.”

The tool already helps providers make critical prescription decisions. The tool’s morphine equivalent calculator helps providers judge how much of an opioid is needed to relieve pain – or put a patient at risk – regardless of the specific opioid prescribed. The tool also suggests additional prescriptions like naloxone, which can help reverse an opioid overdose.

Nearly 1,000 providers have used the tool since it went live in March 2020. The tool triggers, on average, 81 times a day across seven military medical treatment facilities.

“Providers have changed their prescribing behavior about 6% of the time,” Alt said. “This translates to 767 interventions since the tool was deployed in March ­ and it's only been rolled out to a small segment of the military population.”

The Opioid Clinical Decision Tool is one of many ways the Department of Defense looks at pain management, according to retired Army Col. (Dr.) Chester Buckenmaier, program director at the Defense and Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management under the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Innovative practices like revising the pain rating scale and opioid safety resources like the Opioid Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution program have helped the military increase quality of life for patients.

“It might be shocking to hear, but opioids are not bad,” Buckenmaier said. “As an Army anesthesiologist, I would never want to deploy without these tools. But you need to look at which situations stateside need opioids and manage how you’re prescribing them. I think the military is in a leadership position in developing those policies and tools.”

Alt hopes that the Opioid Clinical Decision Tool will be a valuable addition in helping the military safely manage pain for all patients.

“This tool will play a vital role in our ability to optimize opioid therapy, minimize patient risk, and address the epidemic of addiction that faces America,” Alt said.

Visit Health.mil for more information on opioid safety in the military.

You also may be interested in...

NMCSD launches MHS GENESIS

Article
3/2/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask standing in front of the Naval Medical Center in San Diego cutting a red ribbon

Naval Medical Center San Diego deploys MHS GENESIS over the weekend.

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Technology | MHS GENESIS Toolkit

GLWACH prepares for new electronic health record – MHS GENESIS

Article
2/24/2021
A group of military health personnel wearing face masks sitting around a table using laptops

The new EHR goes online April 24, and will provide a single health record for service members, veterans and their families.

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | MHS Quality, Patient Safety, and Access Information (for Patients)

Back pain Infographic

Infographic
1/8/2021
Infographic featuring images of people with low back pain and explaining that TRICARE will waive cost-shares for up to three low back pain physical therapy sessions for  beneficiaries in ten demonstration states, if beneficiaries meet eligibility criteria.

Infographic featuring images of people with low back pain and explaining that TRICARE will waive cost-shares for up to three low back pain physical therapy sessions for beneficiaries in ten demonstration states, if beneficiaries meet eligibility criteria...

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Low Back Pain and Physical Therapy Demonstration Toolkit | Pain Management

DHA’s IT innovation continues during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
12/31/2020
Image of three military personnel, wearing masks, in front of a computer screen. Click to open a larger version of the image.

IT innovations keep pace despite COVID-19 road blocks.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Research and Innovation | Technology | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

MHS GENESIS offers patients secure access for their healthcare needs

Article
12/28/2020
Image of military personnel, wearing a mask and looking at a computer screen

The Patient Portal is one of the key features and benefits for any beneficiary using MHS GENESIS.

Recommended Content:

Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) Program Office | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | MHS GENESIS Toolkit

Top five digital health trends for military medical providers in 2021

Article
12/17/2020
Image of Dr. Pincus with text "Top Five Digital Health Trends for Military Medical Providers in 2021"

One way the MHS will provide...improved care is through DoD’s new electronic health record MHS GENESIS, which will continue its rollout through 2023.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS

Wave PENDLETON sees more MTFs deploy new electronic health record

Article
12/9/2020
Image of soldier, wearing a mask, in front of a computer screen

“We are returning to regular deployments of MHS GENESIS following a pause brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic."

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | MHS GENESIS Toolkit

Naval Medical Forces Pacific’s commander tours NH Twentynine Palms

Article
11/12/2020
Four military personnel in uniform, wearing masks

Weber was briefed on the implementation of MHS GENESIS...and the hospital's response to COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness | Coronavirus | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Readiness Capabilities

Military Health podcasts provide resources for patients and providers

Article
11/6/2020
Hands holding a smartphone with the Living Beyond Pain podcast playing on the device.

Podcasts have become an increasingly popular way of getting information.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Pain Management | Connected Health

MHS GENESIS goes live at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton

Article
11/2/2020
Four military personnel, wearing masks, standing in front of two computer screens that say "MHS GENESIS."

These SME’s impart invaluable knowledge to new users, enabling a successful go-live evolution

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Electronic Health Record Modernization & Interoperability | MHS GENESIS Toolkit

MHS GENESIS, DoD’s new EHR system, lands at Edwards AFB

Article
10/27/2020
Military personnel standing and sitting at a desk with multiple computer screens

MHS GENESIS is being implemented at DOD hospitals and clinics in a phased approach over the next several years.

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | MHS GENESIS Toolkit

FEHRM expands joint HIE expanding MHS GENESIS’s reach

Article
10/26/2020
Military personnel at desk assisting an Airman with paperwork

This expansion adds a nationwide network of more than 15,000 hospitals and clinics to the 46,000 community partners already part of the joint HIE.

Recommended Content:

Joint Health Information Exchange | MHS GENESIS Toolkit | Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) Program Office | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS

Navy pharmacy techs support COVID-19 and MHS GENESIS efforts

Article
10/20/2020
Navy personnel in a pharmacy

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Aaron Souders is highlighted for his work as a Navy pharmacy technician.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Combat Support | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | MHS GENESIS Toolkit

DHA Director outlines how MHS standardization bolsters reform

Article
10/15/2020
Two soldiers in masks, talking

How COVID-19 repositioned the best laid plans of the DoD.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Joint Health Information Exchange | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Transformation | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | MHS GENESIS Toolkit

WRNMMC Providers Urge Holistic Approach to Pain Management

Article
10/14/2020
Three hands; one set putting a needle into another

The Military Health System’s efforts to address chronic pain includes a holistic strategy that’s multidisciplinary and multimodal.

Recommended Content:

Opioid Safety | Pain Management
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 46 - 60 Page 4 of 8

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.