CHIME kicks off opioid task force led by CIOs at Stanford Children’s, University of Utah Health

Hydrocodone opioid pills
CHIME's new opioid task force is led by the CIO of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital who lost his son to an overdose last year. (Image: Getty/smartstock)

The College of Health Information Management Executives (CHIME) has launched a new opioid task force, an initiative led by the CIO at Stanford Children’s Hospital after he lost his son to an overdose.

Ed Kopetsky, CIO of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, part of Stanford Children’s Health, initiated the idea in October following the death of his son, Tim, who battled with addiction for 10 years. Kopetsky, along with University of Utah Health CIO Jim Turnbull will co-chair the task force which had its inaugural meeting earlier this month.

The group’s first meeting featured more than two dozen industry stakeholders representing vendors and providers, including representatives from Allscripts, Epic, Meditech and Cerner as well as executives at Adventist Health System and Tenet Healthcare.

RELATED: Health IT Now’s new Opioid Safety Alliance focuses on leveraging technology to fight opioid misuse

CHIME is “well-positioned to help bend the curve of this exploding epidemic,” Kopetsky and Turnbill wrote on CHIME’s website, highlighting the vast amount of data that exist within the association’s membership. After an initial meeting that featured presentations from the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office at the Loyola Recovery Foundation, the task force is developing an action plan that is likely to include a focus on prescription drug monitoring programs.

“We need to empower and assist the healthcare community and help them see that there are pathways to success, whether that is eliminating overprescribing of opioids, finding interventions in clinical care or following best treatment practices,” Turnbull said in an announcement on Wednesday. “CHIME members have the data and skills to illuminate what has worked and what hasn’t.”

RELATED: Trump’s opioid commission recommends PDMP enhancements, federal data hub

CHIME spokesperson Candace Stuart said members have been contacting the association to get involved in the task force since the announcement. She said a big focus of the task force will be sharing solutions or programs that have seen success.

“What we want to do is let people know what the best practices are and what’s been working in various places,” she told FierceHealthcare.

The opioid crisis was a topic in President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address this week, and new Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar vowed to make it a central focus of his tenure at the agency. Meanwhile, another health IT association, Health IT Now has launched its own task force known as the Opioid Safety Alliance.