drug usage

Technology and the Fight Against Prescription Drug Abuse

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Prescription drug abuse is now seen as a major problem, and the healthcare industry is expanding efforts to fight this epidemic. In particular, information is seen as a key component to improve efforts to track medication use and prevent abuse. In this new environment, medical providers need to think about the role they can play in this ongoing effort to fight prescription drug abuse.  

Fighting Prescription Drug Abuse with Technology

Prescription drug abuse is a complex problem, but on the supply end the principle is clear: Control the dispensing of medication, and you can reduce abuse. The problem is that many medical practices are still using simple spreadsheets or even pen and paper to manage inventory and issue prescriptions. It should be clear that the complexity of modern healthcare requires more sophisticated and powerful management tools.

One possible solution is to use powerful inventory management software that not only tracks item movement, but also records all dispense history for every patient. Some programs can even alert you if items are being prescribed too frequently. Healthcare is finally catching up with other sectors in the use of administrative technology, and one benefit should be the improved control of drug dispensing and use.

Having unique tracking numbers also helps control doses, especially if your practice is engaged in the regular dispensing of medication. Coupled with barcode scanning and required fields for the staff member and department scanning out the medication, inventory software can provide an efficient and effective way to monitor the drugs that are being dispensed from your office.

Other approaches will also be needed, but as providers help with the fight against prescription drug abuse will be an ongoing effort, the right tools and technology can help us make important strides in this effort.