PAINWeek 2018: Opioid Alternatives and EHRs
JOHN O’KEEFE | September 12, 2018


PAINWeek 2018: Opioid Alternatives and EHRs

By John O’Keefe | September 12, 2018


Every fall, frontline practitioners gather at the PAINWeek annual conference to learn about current trends and best practices in pain management. This year, PAINWeek’s 12th annual meeting kicked off Pain Awareness Month immediately after Labor Day at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas.


ITelagen sponsored PAINWeek for the third consecutive year. Over the years, we’ve watched this event continue to grow, reflecting the increasing importance of safe and effective pain management in the healthcare landscape. “Chronic pain is on the doorstep of every healthcare provider on Main Street. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in Kentucky or Iowa or Ohio or California or New York, it is everywhere,” says Kevin L. Zacharoff MD, FACIP, FACPE, FAAP.


According to the National Center for Health Statistics, approximately 76.2 million people – one in every four Americans – have suffered from pain that lasts longer than 24 hours; and millions more suffer from acute pain. Pain affects more Americans that diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. Health economists have reported that the economic cost of chronic pain in the U.S. is as high as $635 billion per year due to the costs of care and lower productivity.


Alternatives to Opioids

This year’s event covered a variety of topics across over 120 hours of content. As with most healthcare discussions today, the majority of sessions revolved around finding ways to deliver safe, high-quality and cost-effective care in an increasingly value-based system.


A significant number of sessions focused on alternatives to opioids, reflecting the growing opioid crisis in America. The CDC estimates that the total economic burden of prescription opioid misuse in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.


Pain Management EHRs

PAINWeek 2018 also featured a large Exhibit Hall, where attendees could meet with event sponsors and explore the latest solutions and services for pain management. This was a great opportunity for ITelagen to meet with customers and learn more about their needs and the key issues they face each day.


The main challenges we heard about were related to the lack of pain management-specific Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Electronic Practice Management (EPM) technology solutions. Pain management providers are spending too much valuable time customizing generic solutions for their specific needs. This often results in one-off systems that are difficult to use. They don’t integrate well with other solutions and they reduce the time that clinicians can spend with patients, which negatively impacts revenues.


ITelagen’s PainCare Health Records™ is an integrated EHR and Practice Management solution designed specifically for pain management practices. Pain-specific content and workflows are included “out of the box” so no customization is necessary to begin using the system. A fully-integrated billing and collections module, as well as a knowledgeable IT support team, are available to help practices maximize their success.


Southern Pain and Neurological in Louisiana has enjoyed the benefits of PainCare Health Records since 2015. The practice selected PainCare Health Records for its robust core EHR, plus its customized templates and content for pain management. “With the earlier generic EHR, everything seemed foreign. It was tedious to move around the system and document properly,” says Lara Morris, X-ray Technician and Medical Assistant. “PainCare Health Records significantly improved our workflow by including specific terminology and phrases for pain management.”


As the need for pain management grows, it’s more important than ever for practices to have a solid technology foundation that will help them improve clinical, financial and operational outcomes. Be sure to choose a technology partner that understands the nuances of pain management, offers specialty-specific solutions and is committed to partnering toward your success.


At ITelagen, we have deep experience in pain management. We offer proven solutions and expertise that enable you to spend time treating patients, instead of worrying about technology that doesn’t work well for your unique needs. Learn more about our customized solutions for Pain Management or contact us for a free consultation.