RTI International Leads the Patient-Centered Clinical Decision Support Learning Network to Develop New Action Plan for Managing Opioid Treatment

March 28, 2019

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Health care experts led by RTI International and its collaborators from the Patient-Centered Clinical Decision Support (CDS) Learning Network have developed an action plan for patient-centered clinical decision support (PCCDS) to improve the management of opioid treatment. The report, “A Stakeholder-driven Action Plan for Improving Pain Management, Opioid Use, and Opioid Use Disorder Treatment through Patient-Centered Clinical Decision Support,” was introduced at Healthcare Datapalooza 2019, a major data and technology conference focused on improving health care delivery.

“Inappropriate opioid use for managing pain and for non-medical purposes has reached epidemic proportions. New solutions involving data will be critical to address this national health care challenge,” said Dr. Jerome A. Osheroff, Learning Network executive team member who co-chaired the working group and is lead author. “The Patient-Centered CDS Learning Network is very pleased to complete this important, collaborative, and timely work on PCCDS as applied to the opioid crisis,” he added.

Dr. Osheroff is an industry leader in health care transformation strategies and the founder and principal of TMIT Consulting LLC.

“Given that the U.S. opioid crisis continues nearly unabated, the Working Group’s process emphasized information collection that was concurrent with collaborative actions and advance PCCDS to address the crisis,” explained Barry Blumenfeld, M.D., MS, RTI senior physician informaticist, Learning Network principal investigator and co-chair of the report’s working group. “We are proud to declare that the Opioid Action Plan will begin collaborations that directly improve care delivery and outcomes.”

Clinical decision support (CDS) provides clinicians, staff, patients or other individuals with knowledge and person-specific information, intelligently filtered or presented at appropriate times, to enhance health and health care. CDS encompasses a variety of computer-based tools to enhance decision-making in the context of clinical care. PCCDS is CDS that directly involves or addresses patients to enhance patient activation, education, engagement and collaborative decision-making between patients and their care teams.

Specifically, the Opioid Action Plan (OAP) resulted from key stakeholders in the Learning Network who met from March through December 2018 to:

  • Develop a compelling vision of PCCDS-enabled pain management, opioid use and opioid use disorder treatment;
  • Define actions that stakeholders (and others) can take to achieve that vision;
  • Recognize initial actions already occurring as a byproduct of OAP development; and
  • Lay the critical foundation for ongoing collaboration and progress after OAP publication.

The Learning Network chartered and conducted the Working Group, and project team members were co-authors of the report. RTI has significant experience in CDS and digital health, opioids research and pain management, and health care IT policy, among other areas.

The report was funded by a cooperative agreement from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, # 5U18HS024849-03.