Study: Geisinger Researchers Utilize EHR Data to Predict Opioid Overdose Deaths | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Study: Geisinger Researchers Utilize EHR Data to Predict Opioid Overdose Deaths

June 3, 2016
by Heather Landi
| Reprints

In a study, researchers at Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health System used data from electronic health records (EHRs) to profile patients who overdosed on opioids and developed a predictor for patients most at risk of dying or experiencing other serious complications from drug abuse.

According to a press release about the 10-year study, scientists at Geisinger analyzed the EHRs of more than 2,000 patients admitted to the hospital for overdoses between April 2005 and March 2015. Among them, 9.4 percent died within a year of hospitalization. 

Patients had an average age of 52, were more often female (54 percent), not married (64 percent) and unemployed (78 percent). Their concurrent chronic diseases also included cardiovascular disease (22 percent), diabetes (14 percent), cancer (13 percent) and the presence of one or more mental health disorders (35 percent).

Researchers found that marital status, mental health and employment status all weigh in as predictors.

Being married and having private health insurance were found to have a protective effect, while history of previous addiction, mental illness and having other chronic diseases were all found to be conditions associated with adverse overdose outcomes, including death, according to the study.

"Our study suggests opportunities for identifying patients at-risk for overdosing," study leader Joseph Boscarino, Ph.D, Geisinger addiction researcher and senior epidemiologist, said in a statement. "We've found that patients who are taking higher doses of prescription opioids combined with psychotropic medicines may need closer monitoring to avoid death and other serious complications."

Predictors of the worst patient outcomes–including death, repeated overdoses, frequent health care service use and higher related costs–were found to be higher prescription opioid use, having concurrent chronic diseases, having concurrent mental disorders, and concurrent use of other psychotropic medications, according to the press release about the study.

"These patients have a history of addiction and other serious mental illness both before and after their overdose, as well as current chronic diseases," Boscarino said.

Geisinger researchers will present results from "A 10-year Retrospective Study of Opioid Overdoses among Patients in a Large Integrated Healthcare System" at the International Conference on Opioids.

Opioids–including prescription opioid pain relievers and heroin – killed more than 28,000 people in 2014, more than any year on record, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

KLAS Research: Small Hospitals’ Buying Decisions Impacting EMR Market Share

A new KLAS Research report tracks shifts in electronic medical record (EMR) vendor market share among acute care hospitals, and finds that smaller hospitals are seeking technology solutions that meet their needs and limited budgets, and these contracts are making a mark on the EMR market.

Survey: Majority of Providers Predict Success for New Generic Drug Company, Project Rx

Back in January, four health systems, in consultation with the VA, announced a collaboration to develop a new, not-for-profit generic drug company. A survey has found that 90 percent of providers say they would become customers of the new venture.

Personalized Medicine Awareness Low Among U.S. Adults, Survey Finds

Genetics and personalized medicine are not top of mind for the general public in the U.S., according to a recent survey from GenomeWeb and the Personalized Medicine Coalition.

Industry Organizations Praise Senate Passage of VA Mission Act

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed, by a vote of 92-5, a major Veterans Affairs (VA) reform bill that includes health IT-related provisions to improve health data exchange between VA healthcare providers and community care providers.

NIH Issues Funding Announcement for All of Us Genomic Research Program

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) “All of Us” Research Program has issued a funding announcement for genome centers to generate genotype and whole genome sequence data from participants’ biosamples.

MGMA: Physician Compensation Data Illustrates Nationwide PCP Shortage

Primary care physicians’ compensation rose by more than 10 percent over the past five years, representing an increase which is nearly double that of specialty physicians’ compensation over the same period, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).