How digital content is helping HCPs curb the opioid epidemic

Aptus Health

Managing pain is, well, a pain. On one hand are the patients who are physically suffering, desperate for relief. On the other hand are the prescribers who are driven to help their patients but finding that their pain management protocols are now complicated by what the national opioid epidemic has wrought. In fact, a poll of physicians within our digital community found that 64% believe that doctors have a responsibility to help curb the opioid epidemic.

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) continue to be among the most promising interventions to improve painkiller prescribing, inform clinical practice, and protect patients at risk. Yet many physicians—eager to manage their patients’ pain while also helping to curb the opioid epidemic—do not even know that their state has a PDMP database they can check to see if the patient has secured prescriptions more frequently than expected from other physicians. Of course, that would be a key indicator of possible opioid abuse, and also influences what the physician decides to prescribe.

Digital content is helping give these prescribers the tools they need to both serve their patients while keeping abuse in check. And, by delivering information concisely and in an engaging format, this approach is having a measurable (and almost immediate!) impact on how physicians approach opioid prescription in practice.

For example, over 1,500 members of our web and mobile physician community QuantiaMD recently engaged in an expert-led interactive presentation titled “Truth or Consequences: PDMP Impact on Prescription Decision Making” presented by Marianne Cloeren, MD, MPH, FACOEM Chair, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Council on OEM Practice. The interactive presentation (one in a series of expert-led presentations on the topic of pain management using opioids) offered clear education on the PDMP, and shared best practices for helping physicians make smarter prescribing decisions.  

After interacting with this 10-minute long piece of expert-led content:

  • Over 61% of participating physicians say they will now check their state’s PDMP database for all patients to whom they prescribe a controlled substance – a 60% increase from before they engaged with the content
  • Almost 30% say they will check it for patients prescribed controlled substances by other providers

Armed with this information, many HCPs are more confident in their prescribing decisions. In the words of one family practitioner after interacting with the digital content, “I use the PDMP and for some patients it has confirmed their story/history and allowed me to prescribe their medications more confidently. I feel better about continuing their medications.”

In addition to expert-led content on QuantiaMD, Aptus Health offers physicians another unique way to stay current with the rapid changes in medicine, through our Univadis HCP platform. The pain management topic found under most specialties at Univadis currently highlights curated synopses of the best literature dealing with the opioid abuse epidemic, including an overview of 12 predictors of patient risk in opioids.

As these and other examples illustrate, credible evidence on key clinical topics – delivered in a concise format that HCPs value – has the power just to make a real difference in care.

To learn more visit www.aptushealth.com

At Aptus Health, our mission is advancing health engagement. Our integrated digital marketing campaigns help our clients build brands, increase share of mind, and empower better decision making among their target audiences—resulting in better outcomes. We are the one company with unparalleled healthcare and behavioral perspectives drawn from diverse customers, sectors, and global markets. The only company that offers access to the world’s leading online physician and consumer health communities—with decades of collective intelligence on how to engage these audiences in meaningful ways that empower them to work better individually, and together.

This article was created in collaboration with the sponsoring company and our sales and marketing team. The editorial team does not contribute.