If a patient is not being closely monitored by her physician and is receiving opioid prescriptions from multiple hospitals and nursing homes without proper oversight, it can lead to several concerning consequences.
The first consequence is medication misuse and overdose. The lack of monitoring and coordination among healthcare providers can result in excessive and inappropriate opioid prescribing. This increases the risk of medication misuse, dependence, and overdose. The patient may receive higher doses than necessary, potentially leading to adverse effects or even fatal outcomes. The patient can also be directed to take other medications that can cause drug drug interactions with the other prescriptions that they are taking.
The second consequence is polypharmacy and drug interactions. When a patient is receiving opioid prescriptions from multiple sources without proper coordination, it
increases the likelihood of polypharmacy (taking multiple medications simultaneously). This raises the risk of drug interactions, which can have harmful effects on the patient's health. Different healthcare providers may not have a complete picture of the patient's medication history, leading to inadvertent prescribing of medications that can interact negatively with opioids. An example of this would be a patient is taking many SSRIs for their mental health disabilities, along with blood pressure medicine, cholesterol medicine and then Opioids and Gabapentin are prescribed for the newest issue with the patient involving pain.
The third consequence is fragmented care and lack of continuity with respect to a patient’s treatment. Continuity of care is crucial for managing complex medical conditions effectively. When a patient is treated by different healthcare providers across various hospitals and nursing homes without proper coordination, it leads to fragmented care. Lack of communication and shared medical records can result in missed diagnoses, duplicated tests, delayed interventions, and overall suboptimal care. Further if not all the medical professionals are working together as a team, they may miss critical information regarding the patient that the other physician is aware of and that the patient might forget to tell their new doctor.
The fourth consequence is missed opportunities for comprehensive treatment. Without close monitoring and oversight by a physician, the patient may miss out on comprehensive treatment approaches. Opioid use for chronic pain management should be part of a broader treatment plan that includes physical therapy, lifestyle modifications, and alternative pain management strategies. Without proper supervision, the patient may not receive these additional interventions that could improve their overall well-being and potentially reduce their reliance on opioids.
The fifth consequence is the lack of detection of underlying issues. Inadequate monitoring can result in the healthcare system failing to detect underlying issues contributing to the patient's pain or worsening condition. There may be undiagnosed or unaddressed medical conditions that require targeted treatment. Without proper attention, these issues may go unnoticed and lead to the patient's health deteriorating further. Additionally, if the patient has recently switched their primary provider that knows the patient’s history, important information regarding previous addiction issues relative to opioids or other medicines is not being shared.
The sixth consequence is the ethical and legal concerns. Prescribing opioids without appropriate monitoring and oversight raises ethical concerns regarding patient safety and responsible prescribing practices. It can also have legal implications if there are instances of medication diversion or inappropriate prescribing practices by healthcare providers involved in the patient's care.
This patient was my mother who passed away this year from a heart attack at age 64. My mother did not have any previous heart attacks or substantial cardiovascular issues that would cause a heart attack. My mom suffered most of her life with mental health disabilities. She had a history of opioid abuse and had in fact tried to commit suicide four (4) times in my life. The last time that she tried to end her life was March 24, 2022, where she was being held against her will in her own home. For the physician that was aware of her opioid abuse issues to allow her to take opioid for her pain was not a proper treatment plan. My mother became addicted once again and went into various hospitals at the end of December 2022 to be prescribed opioids for the pain that she was experiencing. The pain incidentally had been affecting my mother since November and the proper physical therapy and pain treatments other than opioids were not prescribed to my mother until that last part of her life when it was too late. Additionally, prior to working with my mother on her pain issues, the same physician was treating my mother and never acted on the fact that she had lost 50 pounds or more prior to my mother’s removal from the basement by the authorities.
To address these concerns, it is crucial for healthcare providers to establish effective communication channels, share medical records, and coordinate care to ensure the patient receives appropriate monitoring, comprehensive treatment, and medication management. This can be achieved through the implementation of Spectral Analytics Precision Tele-Monitoring (www.spectralanalyticsptm.com ). The system is designed to enable physicians and health care providers to be proactive with their medical care. The ability to see all labs, medical record, biometrics due to the wearables per patient as well as any admittance into hospital is key in a patient's overall care.
The Spectral Analytics Precision Tele-Monitoring system was designed to be intuitive, informative and can monitor the subjects through the artificial intelligence bots 24 x 7 days a week. The system does not go down and it guarantees visibility for all medical professionals attached to their patients. Spectral Analytics Precision Tele-Monitoring fires alerts to the patients’ medical staff when a medical instance is occurring. The system becomes the eyes and ears for the physician and other health care professionals. Spectral Analytics Precision Tele-Monitoring was built to improve patients’ lives and in the same way ensuring that the patients stay alive. We save lives.
To learn more about Spectral Analytics Precision Tele-Monitoring, please email us at <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>.