Community Health Center Inc. is a multisite federally qualified health center in Connecticut that provide primary care services for more than 140,00 medically underserved patients. The health center has a fully integrated EHR for medical, dental and behavioral healthcare. They recognized that their patient population was impacted by chronic pain and that their primary care providers had limited resources and faced time constraints for dealing with patients receiving chronic opioid therapy. To help clinicians adhere to practice guidelines, they developed a dashboard to support opioid management based on current practice guidelines. The guidelines required patients receiving chronic opioid therapy have:
- an opioid treatment agreement
- routine urine drug screening
- routine reassessments of pain and functional status
- recommended co-management with a behavioral health provider
Providers were required to review Community Health Center’s opioid management policy at employment annual review of this policy. Providers had access to a dashboard that displayed their rate of guideline adherence as well as other statistics and the ability to drill down by patient. Each week physicians and their teams received a Missed Opportunity Report listing patients who in the week prior had not received one of the guideline recommendations.
Based on study data collected before and after implementation of the dashboard, Community Health Center observed increased use in each of the recommendations. They also noted a decline in the percentage of patients prescribed opioids over the one-year period. They attributed the program’s success to several possible factors, including:
- Clear and actionable data presented in the dashboard
- Team review of the data, which motivated support staff and physicians to adhere to the guidelines
- Continual performance feedback, which may have sparked competitive desire to improve
Keys to Success:
- Making the opioid management guideline transparent and available online for providers to easily access it.
- Designing a dashboard with clearly presented data.
- Giving providers the ability to use dashboards to identify gaps in patents’ and plan care.
- Use of Missed Opportunities Report.
- Using the dashboard as a collaborative tool for support staff and physicians to foster a team approach to patient care.