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Prescription Drug Abuse: New Software To Assess Patients’ Risk

Prescription Drug Abuse

New software designed to “score” patients’ risk for prescription drug abuse will be used in a federal pilot study examining prescription practices by physicians. NarxCheck was developed by Ohio emergency physician Dr. Jim Huizenga and Eagle Software Corp. It will be used in the study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The system uses information from patients’ electronic health records. The study aims to learn the impact of having a drug risk indicator in electronic health records systems and how it will influence decisions made by physicians. NarxCheck will be installed at the Springfield (Ohio) Center for Family Medicine.

“Patients with the Springfield Center for Family Medicine will be integrated with NarxCheck so that when they arrive for their appointments at the office, we’ll be able to access the Ohio Board of Pharmacy and get their prescription records and have that available to the center staff,” Huizenga said.

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy tracks how many prescriptions people receive and their doses. It monitors for potential doctor shopping, which is an indicator of possible prescription drug abuse. NarxCheck then takes that information to calculate a person’s risk for prescription drug abuse. The NarxCheck system is already in use in 10 emergency departments in the region, and installation and training are in progress at 11 additional emergency departments. Prescription drug abuse is a significant problem throughout the state of Ohio.

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