How Can Technology Help Solve the Opioid Crisis?
One way for government agencies to battle the opioid crisis is to pair data analytics and holistic case management solutions to turn insights into actions. That’s the conclusion drawn in a recent blog post by GovLoop.com Director of Content Catherine Andrews entitled “The Multi-Faceted Approach to Solving the Opioid Crisis.” MicroPact and Amazon Web Services (AWS) contributed to the article, which explores both the need for a multi-factored approach to solving the opioid crisis, and the challenges that come with implementing such an approach.
The article quotes Dr. Thomas Dobbs, Deputy State Health Office at the Mississippi Department of Health, who believes that effective solutions to combating opioid misuse must “incorporate mental health, professional licensure and regulatory authorities, law enforcement, insurance providers, and public health.”
However, it can be difficult to collect and analyze data from all of these different sources. In many cases, the data is stored in separate, incompatible technology platforms. In addition, regulations about data privacy act as barriers to data sharing. And even once data is collected and analyzed, it remains a challenge to put the insights gained to use.
That’s where case management technology comes into play. In a scenario like this, a case management system acts as a connector between the data and the action plan based on that data. It can centralize information to help address the opioid crisis in a holistic manner, helping agencies “connect the dots” for a multifactorial approach. The importance of case management technology in combating the opioid crisis was discussed at the first technology-focused Opioid Crisis Council in June 2018 at the AWS Public Sector Summit.
To be effective and compliant with existing regulations, a case management solution must be flexible, configurable, and role-based for security. Further, it must interface with the agencies’ analytics and other data sources, and provide a complete picture of the program, actions, and outcomes. It should be part of an overall technology strategy allowing for data analysts, agencies, citizens, and providers to have access to the information they need.
Of course, the use of case management technology solutions is only one part of addressing the opioid crisis. However, it can be an effective tool for gathering and analyzing data, coordinating programs, and evaluating the effectiveness of new multi-faceted approaches to tackling this growing public health concern.
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