As the U.S. continues to suffer from an opioid addiction epidemic, electronic health record data have the potential to help clinicians better predict who is most likely to die or experience other serious complications from abuse of the drug class.

Researchers at Geisinger Health System in Danville, Penn., analyzed the EHRs of more than 2,000 patients admitted to the hospital for overdoses between April 2005 and March 2015. Among their findings: 9.4 percent of patients died within a year, and those taking higher doses of prescription opioids combined with psychotropic medicines need closer monitoring.

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