Changing Default Computer Settings May Reduce Opioid Prescriptions

A new study suggests that simply changing default computer settings in hospitals may reduce opioid prescriptions, HealthDay reports.

When two California hospitals lowered default computer settings that display a preset number of pills, doctors at those hospitals prescribed fewer opioids, researchers report in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco randomly changed default settings on electronic medical records for opioids including oxycodone, Percocet and Norco over 20 weeks. They changed the settings for four weeks at a time. One hospital had a default of 12 pills, while the other hospital’s default was 20 pills. The researchers changed the defaults to five, 10 and 15 pills. They also included a blank setting that required doctors to enter how many pills they wanted to prescribe to each patient.

At the end of the study, lower pill defaults were associated with lower amounts of opioids prescribed. There were also fewer orders that exceeded prescribing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Search & Rescue: Tools & Resources for Prescribers to Help Navigate the Opioid Crisis

Search and Rescue is a prescriber education campaign providing healthcare professionals with the tools and resources they need to help patients with prescription drug misuse, abuse, and addiction.

Search and Rescue for healthcare providers

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