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Leveraging healthcare IT to combat opioid crisis

The Cooper Center for Healing and the CHIME Opioid Action Center discuss how tech can improve addiction care.
By admin
Feb 29, 2024, 11:05 AM

In the ongoing battle against the opioid crisis, healthcare IT leaders are stepping up to the plate, wielding their expertise to enact meaningful change. In the first of a three episode series of the CHIME Opioid Action Center podcast, moderator Sean Kelly, CMIO and SVP of Healthcare Strategy at Imprivata, led a compelling discussion with two industry experts: Dr. Kaitlan Baston, MD, MSc, DFASAM, former Division Head of Addiction Medicine and Medical Director of the Center for Healing, and current Health Commissioner for the state of New Jersey; and Dustin Hufford, Senior Vice President and CIO at Cooper University Health Care. 

Dr. Baston shared insights into her journey from addiction medicine to leading transformative initiatives at Cooper University Health Care. She highlighted the critical need for integrated pain, addiction, and behavioral healthcare, particularly in underserved communities like Camden, New Jersey. With a focus on innovation and collaboration, Dr. Baston emphasized the importance of building programs that address the root causes of substance use disorders. 

Dustin Hufford provided a tech-centric perspective, detailing Cooper Health Care’s strategic approach to leveraging technology in the fight against opioids. He discussed the implementation of agile methodologies, enabling rapid problem-solving and innovation. By fostering collaboration between clinical and IT teams, Hufford emphasized the importance of aligning technology solutions with clinical goals, ultimately improving patient outcomes. 

The conversation delved into the successes achieved at the Center for Healing, including the implementation of novel treatment pathways in the emergency department and the establishment of open-access walk-in practices. Dr. Baston and Hufford underscored the importance of listening to community needs and leveraging data-driven insights to drive meaningful change. 

Despite these successes, both experts acknowledged existing barriers, such as data integration challenges and the need for improved data filtration. However, they remain optimistic about the future, citing collaborative efforts with state agencies and partnerships with other states to disseminate best practices. 

As the episode concluded, listeners were encouraged to visit the Opioid Action Center website for more information and resources. Through continued collaboration and innovation, healthcare IT leaders like Dr. Baston and Dustin Hufford are driving progress in the fight against the opioid crisis, one technological advancement at a time. 

To listen to the full episode, visit opioidactioncenter.com. 

The CHIME Opioid Task Force (Linkedin, Twitter) was assembled in 2018 with a sole mission: to turn the tide on the opioid epidemic using the knowledge and expertise of the nation’s health care IT leaders. For more updates on the current state of the opioid crisis visit opioidactioncenter.com and listen to the Opioid Action Center podcast for the latest insights from HIT industry leaders.

Cooper Center for Healing Academic-level, safe, and compassionate support for patients struggling with substance use disorder (SUD), pain, trauma, and psychiatric disorders.

The Cooper Center for Healing is an integrated center that provides innovative, compassionate care for patients with SUD, pain, trauma, and psychiatric disorders. The center’s medical specialists in addiction medicine, toxicology, emergency medicine (EM) and emergency medical services (EMS), internal medicine, family medicine, and psychiatry provide interdisciplinary specialty care in the hospital, ambulatory, and community settings. The center also has a robust interdisciplinary clinical team of behavioral health clinicians, nurses, and navigator specialists who offer wraparound services to patients in a biopsychosocial model, including helping them to address social determinants of health (SDOH). 

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