Opioid Task Force Building Off Foundation Established in First Half Year
CHIME launched the Opioid Task Force nearly six months ago, and in that short span we have accomplished several near-term goals and made progress on some of our longer-term projects. We are especially heartened by the support we have received from the CHIME and CHIME Foundation membership and CHIME staff as we worked to get this initiative off the ground.
The task force held its first face-to-face meeting on Jan. 24-25 in Washington, D.C., followed by two other face-to-face gatherings: one on March 6 after the CHIME-HIMSS CIO Forum in Las Vegas and another on May 20-22 in Chicago. In between we have held numerous conference calls to stay focused on our mission, which is to use the knowledge and expertise of our members to stem the tide on our nation’s devastating opioid epidemic.
We are pleased to share that at our midyear point we have several achievements to report. Our educational efforts include:
- Our first opioid-themed webinar on April 25, presented by task force and CHIME Board member John Kravitz and his colleagues at Geisinger, CMIO Richard Taylor, M.D., and Chief Pharmacy Officer Michael Evans. This was the first webinar that CHIME has made free and open to the public. It was a resounding success, with more than 180 participants. Several members of the press attended the webinar, too, which helped us amplify our message to a larger community. The Geisinger webinar was also the catalyst for the launch of the CHIME Knowledge Hub and has been posted here.
- As task force co-chairs, we participated on June 26 in another webinar hosted by healthsystemCIO.com in collaboration with CHIME. The webinar is archived here. This event also drew a large audience and received positive comments from attendees, including a response that “the CHIME task force is a great use of our organization.”
- Our second CHIME webinar is scheduled for noon EDT on July 25. Task force member and Anne Arundel Health System CIO Dave Lehr will present “A Journey to Opioid Prescribing Reduction,” which will highlight the clinical and technological steps the system took to reduce opioid prescribing by more than 50 percent. We encourage you to register for the webinar here. It is free and open to the public so please share this with your colleagues and others in your community.
- CHIME’s public policy team and the Public Policy Steering Committee have been very active, identifying federal bills and initiatives related to opioids that are relevant for our membership. Since the task force formed, they have contributed two letters to the administration, submitted six comments, statements and letters to Congress and signed onto two other multi-stakeholder letters. They also published a cheat sheet for CIOs that provides a legislative update and funding opportunities, which you can find here. In addition, John Kravitz testified on behalf of Geisinger before a House subcommittee earlier this year.
Next on the horizon is a call for content to members to contribute real-world success stories and leading practices to prevent addiction and treat people at risk of or experiencing opioid addiction. CHIME will roll out this program in stages, beginning with those who have reached out to the task force already. This fall CHIME will unveil the CHIME Advocacy Summit, CHIME’s newest educational program, which will include sessions on the opioid crisis. The summit will be Oct. 3-5 in Washington, D.C., and many task force members plan to attend.
The CHIME Opioid Task Force also is developing a CIO Playbook to help senior healthcare IT executives navigate the challenges created by the opioid epidemic. The CHIME Opioid Playbook is being created by CIOs and CMIOs for CIOs and CMIOs to help them build programs that will help their providers and healthcare organizations learn about and adopt leading practices in opioid management. We know this will be a useful resource for our members and the healthcare industry.
Thank you for your support. We look forward to sharing more about the task force later this year.
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