AffirmHealth Blog


Autofill Limits and Decreasing Opioid Counts

Aug 12, 2019 3:03:00 PM by Mario Ramirez, MD

 At AffirmHealth, we’re keenly focused on providing prescribing intelligence and clinical decision support tools that help the clinician prescribe responsibly at the point of care delivery while minimizing interruptions in normal workflow patterns. While we use our platform, AffirmHealth Shield, to help us execute on those goals, we also work with other professionals including clinical informaticists, pharmacists, and software developers to integrate with other solutions that can help reverse the course of overprescribing and overuse that are fueling the opioid epidemic in America. We believe there are two recent developments that are worth being aware of both for prescribers and patients. 

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The Evolution of Health Tech Aimed at the Opioid Crisis

Apr 18, 2019 8:30:00 AM by Mario Ramirez, MD

One of our recent posts, “Prescribing Intelligence: The Role of Data Analytics in Combatting the Opioid Epidemic,” focused on the usefulness of data within clinical decision support tools to help clinicians at the patient bedside.  In that article, we made the key point that “analyzing and accurately indexing data” is a critical hurdle that must be crossed if big data is going to be useful for clinical care delivery.  

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The Rural-Urban Opioid Divide and the Space In-Between

Mar 26, 2019 10:00:00 AM by Mario Ramirez, MD posted in Opioid Epidemic, fentanyl, controlled substances

In my day to day emergency medicine practice, I routinely treat and manage opioid related overdoses, sometimes as frequently as three or four patients a day. And while the emergency clinical care of an opioid overdose is the same in rural, suburban, and urban emergency departments, I’ve often felt myself wondering what it is that drives the differences in these groups.

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HHS Interagency Task Force on Pain Management Attracts Some Controversy

Feb 12, 2019 3:00:00 PM by Mario Ramirez, MD posted in Pain Management, regulations


Task Force Releases Draft Report

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 established a Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force, chaired by Dr. Vanila Singh, under the oversight of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Talking to Your Patients About Opioid Abuse: A Clinician’s Guide

Jan 16, 2019 9:08:02 AM by Mario Ramirez, MD

At AffirmHealth, our work focuses around working with clinicians to ensure that they are prescribing opioids in a reliable and compliant manner that gives administrators insight into what is happening across their organizations.  From the clinician’s viewpoint, my job is to help ensure that the clinical information and the decision support we implement works in a way that actually improves care delivery to the patient—after all, if our work isn’t actually making care better, then we’re doing a disservice to the patient.  While our blog has covered a wide range of critical issues around these topics, one thing we’ve never actually discussed is how clinicians should approach the topic of opioid abuse with their patients, strategies for successful risk screening, and what to do if one of your patients develops an opioid use disorder.

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The Opioid Epidemic at the End of 2018: Are We Making Progress?

Dec 11, 2018 9:31:00 AM by Mario Ramirez, MD

For those of us involved in the opioid epidemic as caregivers, patient advocates, and researchers, there was an interesting moment earlier this year when a series of news stories noted some optimism in the fight against overdose deaths. 

In mid-October, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar commented on preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that suggested “that the U.S. may be ‘beginning to turn the tide’ on the opioid crisis.[1]”  “The seemingly relentless trend of rising overdose deaths seems to be finally bending in the right direction…We are so far from the end of the epidemic, but we are perhaps at the end of the beginning.[2]” 

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The Controversial Approval of Dsuvia by the Food and Drug Administration

Nov 21, 2018 8:23:13 AM by Mario Ramirez, MD posted in Opioid Epidemic, Opioid Therapy, Raeford Brown, dsuvia, FDA

Earlier this month on November 2nd, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Dsuvia, a new sublingual version of an older drug, sufentanil, that has been in use since 1984. 

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An Update on Provider Education Efforts and the Opioid Epidemic

Oct 23, 2018 1:54:07 PM by Mario Ramirez, MD

A Focus on Opioid Education Efforts

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