Secure messaging helps Mercy Cincinnati find quick help for addicts

In the emergency department at Mercy Health in Cincinnati, some opioid patients are so addicted that after they are treated for an overdose, they won’t leave because immediately after treatment they are overdosing again, says Steven Feagins, a program administrator at Mercy.

For these patients and others addicted, Mercy needed a way to expedite patients into addiction treatment centers, but in a paper-based environment, that took time.

Mercy-Health-System
Mercy Health uses the cloud for many application

To expedite treatment, Mercy implemented secure messaging software from PerfectServe. It uses the software to distribute patients who need help to 14 local rehabilitation treatment centers.

These include some churches, which also are using the messaging software via an app to support secure communication between Mercy and the local providers, supported with a scheduling system to ensure patients are being sent to the appropriate treatment center at the right time.

Also See: Drug monitoring platform helps Maryland combat opioids

Providers participating in the program must use the PerfectServe app or they don’t get the consultation and any accompanying insurance reimbursement. Providers that want the patient referrals have to be watching for them as referrals come in real time.

Using secure messaging, Mercy can refer patients to treatment centers and get a quick reply back on whether a center or social worker can take a patient, explains Missy Pfefferman, manager of information technology.

“We’re not flipping through papers and cold-calling treatment centers,” she adds. “If you need help we can find you care with an average turnaround time of four minutes. That turnaround is a much better solution than waiting for a text and the patient possibly leaving.”

The Perfect Serve software also sends out messages to clinicians, social workers and patients to let them know the days and times that clean syringes are being handed out.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.