Hospital electronic health records (EHR) contain readily available information that could be used to monitor the drugs detected in patients presenting to emergency departments (ED) for drug-related problems. A pilot study was conducted to access de-identified EHR data for 6,607 patients at four University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) hospitals with the goal of describing patient drug use trends. The findings indicated that it was indeed possible to use EHR information for epidemiologic purposes. Other localities may want to pursue similar uses of their hospitals’ EHR drug toxicology results.
The Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR), which manages the NDEWS Coordinating Center, is participating in the MPowering the State Opioid Use Disorders Project. MPower supports collaborations between research scientists at the University of Maryland’s Baltimore (UMB) and College Park (UMCP) campuses.