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Use of a Prescription Opioid Registry to Examine Opioid Misuse and Overdose in an Integrated Health System.

Preventive Medicine 2018;110:31-37. [doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.01.019]

Cynthia I. Campbell, PhD (Kaiser Permanente Northern California, HS Node), Amber L. Bahorik, PhD (University of California, San Francisco), Paul VanVeldhuisen, PhD (CTN Data & Statistics Center, Emmes Corporation), Constance Weisner, DrPH (Kaiser Permanente Northern California, HS Node), Andrea L. Rubinstein, MD (Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa, HS Node), G. Thomas Ray, MBA (Kaiser Permanente Northern California, HS Node.)

Strategies are needed to identify at-risk patients for adverse events associated with prescription opioids. This study identified prescription opioid misuse in an integrated health system using electronic health record (EHR) data, and examined predictors of misuse and overdose.

The sample included patients from an EHR-based registry of adults who used prescription opioids in 2011 in Kaiser Permanente Northern California, a large integrated health care system. Researchers characterized time-at-risk for opioid misuse and overdose, and used Cox proportional hazard models to model predictors of these events from 2011 to 2014.

Results found that among 396,452 patients, 2.7% were identified with opioid misuse and 1044 had an overdose event. Older patients were less likely to meet misuse criteria or have an overdose. Whites were more likely to be identified with misuse, but not to have an overdose. Alcohol and drug disorders were related to higher risk of misuse and overdose, with the exception that marijuana disorder was not related to opioid misuse. Higher daily opioid dosages and benzodiazepine use increased the risk of both opioid misuse and overdose.

Conclusions: EHR data can be used to identify several risk factors associated with misuse and overdose, including comorbidities and benzodiazepine use, critical information for identifying at-risk patients. Findings can inform targeted patient screening and intervention, prescribing of medications such as buprenorphine for opioid dependence or naloxone for opioid reversal, disease management approaches for this patient population, and guide appropriate opioid prescribing policies which are becoming increasingly conservative and risk being applied without an individualized approach. (Article (Peer-Reviewed), PDF, English, 2018)

Keywords: Benzodiazepines | Electronic health records (EHR) | Older adults | Opioid dependence | Overdose | Prescription-type opiates | Preventive Medicine (journal)

Document No: 1301, PMID: 29410132.

Submitted by Jack Blaine, MD, CCTN, NIDA, 2/5/2018.


Bahorik, Amber L.
Campbell, Cynthia I. mail
Ray, G. Thomas
Rubinstein, Andrea L.
VanVeldhuisen, Paul mail
Weisner, Constance search mail
NIDA-CTN-0061-Ot www
Health Systems www
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Supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.
The materials on this site have neither been created nor reviewed by NIDA.
Updated 3/2018 --
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