UMSOD Implements Digital Solutions to Combat Opioid Crisis

Dentistry Today


The University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD) has joined with DrFirst to fight the opioid crisis afflicting Maryland and the nation. The school’s adoption of the company’s mobility suite, including iPrescribe and Backline, aims to put academia at the forefront of the fight against opioid addiction by providing tools and education for future practitioners and UMSOD alumni to access more accurate patient medication histories. 

Effective July 1, 2018, the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) mandate requires healthcare providers to check medication history via the online PDMP registry before prescribing opioids. Maryland, whose opioid death rate is growing faster than the national average, UMSOD report, is joining 40 other states in requiring PDMP checks as part of the prescribing process to ensure the safe and appropriate use of opioids. 

“We welcome our relationship with the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and are excited by its commitment to lead the charge to enable informed prescribing among the Maryland dental community to prepare them to successfully meet the PDMP mandate and to drive deeper collaboration within the dental community,” said G. Cameron Deemer, president of DrFirst.

Dentists can play a role in preventing the oversupply of opioids without harming the patient, UMSOD says. According to the ADA, about 31% of opioids are prescribed after molar extractions for patients between the ages of 10 and 19. Further studies show that these patients are at greater risk to misuse opioids when they get older, UMSOD says 

With iPrescribe and Backline, DrFirst says, practitioners have accurate medication history at their fingertips as well as access to their peers for consultation to support patient safety appropriately. Gaining this knowledge immediately improves dentists’ ability to make the most informed decisions about patient safety and opioid prescription efficacy, DrFirst reports.

“We are preparing the next generation of oral health practitioners to integrate prescription drug monitoring into the clinical setting to better inform their prescribing practices,” said UMSOD dean Mark A. Reynolds, DDS, PhD, MA. “As Maryland’s largest oral healthcare provider, we are transforming how we care for our patients by establishing best practices for large, multidisciplinary practices in dentistry.” 

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