According to a recent study from the National Safety Council, South Carolina is lagging in its laws and regulations aimed at ending the opioid crisis.
Council president Mary Grealy told South Carolina Radio Network the state saw a spike in deaths as a result of the crisis for the latest year that data is available. “879 people died from an opioid overdose in 2016.” That was a 15.3 percent increase from 2015.
The Healthcare Leadership Council’s (HLC) National Dialogue for Healthcare Innovation (NDHI) has put together an “Opioid Roadmap for Action,” a collection of substantive actions that will reduce the toll of opioid-related misuse, addiction, and overdose while taking meaningful steps to improve patient care.
Grealy said a simple step that healthcare leaders could be doing immediately is using electronic prescriptions. “By doing that rather than using the traditional paper prescription we can better track these medications to make sure they are not being misused or diverted to fraudulent uses.”
South Carolina legislators have updated or toughened many of the state’s prescription laws over the past two years in response to the epidemic. Doctors are now required to update a state database whenever they prescribe opioid-based medications and must get a parent or guardian’s permission before prescribing the meds to teens.
The NDHI is in the midst of an initiative bringing together diverse health industry sectors, plus other organizations focused on the opioid crisis, to develop a comprehensive set of consensus solutions.
Participants are looking at legislative and regulatory remedies, plus industry actions, to improve care management, optimize technology and data analytics, and accelerate therapeutic innovation.