Maryland surgical practice uses mobile app to rein in opioid prescriptions: 6 insights

Olney-based Affiliated Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of Maryland transformed the way its orthopedic surgeons prescribe controlled substances by adopting DrFirst's iPrescribe, a mobile medication management application, Healthcare IT News reported.

Here's what you should know:

1. DrFirst's iPrescribe application enables physicians to check the state's prescription drug monitoring program before prescribing controlled substances, helping practices comply with a state mandate that went into effect July 1.

2. Mobile prescribing also makes it easier to send refills, so physicians can feel comfortable prescribing fewer opioid tablets.

3. Physicians can access prescription drug monitoring program data in the app, eliminating the need to log into a separate system and re-enter patient information.

4. Before implementing the application, each physician at Affiliated Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of Maryland wrote about 30 prescriptions for controlled substances per day. The standard opioid prescription was 20 to 30 tablets. Now, the physicians prescribe six to 12 opioid tablets and the practice writes about 90 prescriptions for controlled substances each month.

5. Kevin Schwartz, DMD, a surgeon at Affiliated Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons now prescribes patients a non-opioid drug like ibuprofen along with a limited opioid supply. He checks in with patients after two or three days and then prescribes refills if necessary.

"If they need a refill for pain, it's very easy for me to prescribe the refill," Dr. Schwartz said. "From wherever I am, I just open iPrescribe on my mobile phone and electronically send the prescription refill to the patient's pharmacy."

6. Other vendors of e-prescribing systems for electronic prescribing of controlled substances include athenahealth, Ayva, drchrono, DxScript eRx, eClinicalWorks, Imprivata, Kareo and MDToolbox.

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