Route 50 talks about the importance of maps in telling the story of the opioid epidemic and how it can help public officials in particular drive home the point. Sometimes a picture is worth far more than 1,000 words. One of the challenges I see is the huge amount of data associated with prescription monitoring. We have to make it easy to assess for health care professionals (and, really, everyone) involved with the problem. Maps are one tool to do this. Route 50 mentions one Kentucky effort.

The Northern Kentucky story map does more than just put all of the health department’s publicly available data in one place, it also contains information about syringe exchange programs and treatment options in the region and lets people know where they can obtain life-saving naloxone kits. In short, the story map helps clearly communicate the extent of the problem, and all the government-led initiatives in place to combat it.

Putting out these maps has shown results.

The map has had a concrete impact on how this region tackles the epidemic. Since the map went live, for instance, Judge Moore credits the tool, at least partly, with facilitating one piece of pending legislation.

I think using maps to help a wider audience understand the scope of the problem is a great idea. We will see more change faster if we tell a compelling story, supported by images that make sense for visual thinkers. In PastRx, we use maps to make it easy to see how far a patient travels to fill their prescriptions. I’d love to hear about maps and other infographics you find effective in putting the word out. How you use maps in prescription monitoring?

David Stengle
Chief Marketing Officer

PDMPs have many limitations in their current format, including complex access issues, timeliness, and whether the data are presented to the physician automatically or require physician effort to retrieve.

ACEP - Annals of Emergency Medicine – 525

When a clinician is prescribing a controlled substance, readily available information about the drugs that a patient is receiving from other providers can be a critically important component of the decision-making process…Increasingly, these [PDMP] programs have evolved into a useful tool for the clinician who must incorporate careful risk management into the prescribing of opioid analgesics or any other controlled substance.

Increasingly, these programs have evolved into a useful tool for the clinician who must incorporate careful risk management into the prescribing of opioid analgesics or any other controlled substance Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Serve a Vital Clinical Need.

Editorial  Pain Medicine, The American Academy of Pain Medicine; 2011;12:845

David is Prescription Advisory’s Chief Marketing Officer. Software startups are his passion.

He also serves as the Director of Startup Grind Princeton and a mentor for the Princeton University eLab.

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