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Home E-Weekly March 27, 2018

EMRs Will Prominently Display Patient's Addiction History

Published: March 27, 2018

JESSIE GRUBB JESSIE GRUBB Jessie's Law will prominently display addiction history in medical records.

A patient's addiction history will be prominently displayed in her electronic medical record with the passage of Jessie's Law, a bill named for Jessie Grubb, a recovering heroin addict who in 2016 was prescribed oxycodone following surgery for an infection in her hip — even though her medical records mentioned her history of drug abuse 8 times.

The discharging doctor, who said he didn't know Ms. Grubb was a recovering addict, sent her home with a prescription for 50 oxycodone pills after surgery. She died the next day of an overdose. She was 30 years old.

Police believe Ms. Grubb crushed up the OxyContin, mixed them with liquid and injected them into the IV port that was in her arm for antibiotics, according to a report in the Ann Arbor News.. Eight of the 50 oxycodone pills were missing when police found Ms. Grubbs, according to the report.

"She should have never have been given a prescription of opioid medication," says U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia in an editorial celebrating the enactment of Jessie's Law.

The goal of Jessie's Law is to give addiction history the same prominence in medical records as what is done now for a patient who has an allergy to a prescription medicine, says Sen. Manchin.

If a patient consents, the law will mandate a patient's opioid addiction is clearly presented in medical records. Jessie's Law orders the Department of Health and Human Services over the next year to come up with guidelines and best practices for a "prominent display" of addiction information in a patient's medical records.

Richard Abowitz

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