Predict Opioid Abuse

Healthcare Clinical Customer Safety Improve Health Outcomes Executive Summary Other
Improve the care you offer by predicting which patients with opioid prescriptions are likely to suffer from opioid abuse.
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Business Problem

The opioid epidemic is a public health crisis endangering countless lives. In the United States, the CBHSQ estimates that 1.7 million people suffer from substance abuse disorders related to a previously prescribed opioid medication. Every day, 128 of these people die from an opioid-related overdose. Sadly, this epidemic continues to worsen. From 2016 to 2017, opioid overdoses grew by 30% across 45 states. While many factors contribute to this crisis, main drivers of the epidemic include overprescription and misuse of prescriptions. A study by Johns Hopkins which examined about 350,000 prescriptions given by 20,000 physicians revealed that on average all doctors overprescribed across seven common surgeries. As a result of this mass overprescription, patients fall at risk of continuing to abuse their prescriptions beyond the necessary amounts.

Intelligent Solution

Although the fight against the opioid epidemic is multifaceted, one effective way to stop patients from falling into substance abuse is to prevent them from consuming an overprescribed amount of opioids as early as possible. AI helps physicians improve the care they offer by predicting which patients with opioid prescriptions are likely to suffer from opioid abuse. These predictions can help inform physicians of the considerations that should be made prior to prescribing a specific quantity of opioid pain medication to a patient. A common challenge here is that not all providers may have historical data on which patients have suffered from opioid abuse.

Targeted marketing techniques used by pharmaceutical companies have also been shown to influence physicians’ prescribing choices. In addition to identifying which patients are at risk of substance abuse, AI can also predict the likelihood that a physician will overprescribe opioid medications. This transparency enables intervention at the provider facility level in cases where a physician has a high propensity to overprescribe.

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