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Michigan steps up fight against opioid abuse

Michigan steps up fight against opioid abuse.

LANSING, Mich. (SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP) - The State of Michigan is stepping up its fight against the opioid abuse epidemic that is claiming the lives of thousands.

LARA and medical professionals at the Henry Ford Health System announced Monday plans to fully integrate Michigan's Automated Prescription System (MAPS) into providers health systems.

It's a move supporters say will help reduce overdoses.

From the streets of Detroit to Grand Rapids, everyone is at risk to getting hooked on opioids. Just ask Mike Hirst, who lost his 14-year-old son, Andy, to an overdose.

"I bring this when I talk to the young kids in schools because this is where it all ends," he said. "Right here in these ashes in an urn."

The death toll of the opioid crisis is prompting the state to partner with your physician.

"It gives us a very comprehensive snapshot of that patient," Cathrine B Frank, MD, said of MAPS.

In real time, physicians may now review your prescription drug history, which helps them determine if they should prescribe opioids or not.

According to LARA and the Lt. Governor's office, full integration with MAPS helps prescribers and dispensers protect patients from prescription abuse by providing:

  • A seamless, single click connection into the new system's platform where users access one system and avoid multiple logins
  • A merging of users' clinical work flow utilizing Appross's Narxcare
  • Tools to increase access to treatment, increase patient engagement, and enable care coordination
  • A more efficient process that saves users time and resources

The system's medical report shows physicians your overdose risk score, which varies on a scale from 0 to 999vand raises red flags if necessary.

"That's a big deal," Rami Khoury, MD, said.

Dr. Khoury practices Emergency Medicine at Henry Ford Allegiance in Jackson and currently serves as Chairman of the hospital's emergency department and is involved in health policy discussions in Lansing.

Dr. Khoury has been using MAPS since 2006 and said it has evolved into a user friendly system, which benefits patients.

"If the data is accessible, easily accessible, and doesn't take time, every provider I know is happy to use it," he said.

Physicians are mandated to report patient prescriptions, according to LARA, but physicians aren't mandated to check MAPS before prescribing opioids, something lawmakers are trying to change.

"We also need to make it mandatory prescribing so that every prescriber of MAPS goes to check to find out if what their prescribing is schedule 2-5 opioid," State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker said.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley said fully integrating MAPS is a good step, so time isn't taken away from you and your doctor.

"This does not replace doctor judgement. It simply gives doctors the complete and historical information that they need in order to make that prescription decision," he said.

Schuitmaker hopes the Michigan Senate will vote on mandatory use of MAPS this week.

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