With the opioid crisis still unresolved and care access disrupted by various ongoing events (e.g. the COVID-19 pandemic), patients on long-term opioid therapy (LTOT) may be more vulnerable to opioid-related harm. There is an urgent need to address the opioid crisis and a significant opportunity to digitize the opioid tapering plan and incorporate existing guidelines into clinical decision support (CDS) tools.
Organizations can act now to create, develop, and implement these guidelines in large part by leveraging their investment in healthcare information technology (IT) and the electronic medical record (EMR). In the future, new frontiers in EHR development can advance this process and help providers effectively balance safer, evidence-based, and equitable use of opioids with patient-centric care plans.