The monitoring systems functions by creating an interconnected web of information between doctors in the county. When a community member comes into a check up and ends up needed prescription drugs, this system can be accessed by the doctor to see when they had received these drugs last and how much was given. This will allow doctors to have easier access to information to keep unneeded opioids out of the hands of those who may try to abuse them or resell them.

During Tuesday night’s Board of Aldermen’s meeting, Camden County Health Department Administrator Bee Dampier presented a plan to introduce a prescription drug monitoring system to the county doctors. This program would give doctors throughout the county a detailed record of prescription drug allowance to individuals seeking medication from doctors. Dampier presented alongside Dane Henry, Chief Executive Officer of Lake Regional Health Systems. 

Dampier says this user agreement would be connected to St. Louis Medical, which is the home base for this program. The software was designed by Appriss Health, who create medical analytics. The route to securing this technology for the county starts within the individual cities. Various members of Lake Regional Health Systems have made presentations to cities within the county expressing their desire to adopt this program. So far, Sunrise Beach and Camdenton have heard the idea. Lake Ozark and Osage Beach are scheduled within the next month. Eventually, the choice to make the system county wide will fall in the hands of the county commission, who have expressed interest. 

Currently, with the plan in place, this would not be a mandatory process for doctors to complete. If for whatever reason a doctor does not want to take part in this, it would be allowed. However, Dampier says they have received word from a majority of county doctors that this software is something they are more than willing to participate in. Missouri is the last state in the country without this software available statewide.

“This is an issue that’s getting harder and harder to monitor,” Dampier said. 

The monitoring systems functions by creating an interconnected web of information between doctors in the county. When a community member comes into a check up and ends up needed prescription drugs, this system can be accessed by the doctor to see when they had received these drugs last and how much was given. This will allow doctors to have easier access to information to keep unneeded opioids out of the hands of those who may try to abuse them or resell them. 

Dampier says that this system would also make it easier for people with actual consistent need for drugs to access them regularly. She says it is becoming harder for people with these needs to find a doctor because of the liability of constant prescriptions. She believes this systems will allow for a more in depth conversation between patient and doctor to truly help with drug needs. 

“Opioids, sedatives, tranquilizers, it monitors them all,” Dampier said. “This is a tool that doctors need to make sure pain medicine is being used correctly.” 

The projected cost of the county to adopt this plan is only around $1,000 a year, as projected by Dampier. She says it is a small price for a system that could help many prescription users. Many counties surrounding the Kansas City and St. Louis area have already adopted the plan, though many central counties including Camden and Morgan have yet to respond. Miller county adopted the system in 2017. The system as a whole went live in Missouri in Apr. 2017. 

Dampier hopes to have the system in place in Camden County by summer 2018. She says this could be the best step to keep our kids safe from prescription drug abuse, whether it be by using it themselves or by keeping out of the hands of their parents who may become addicted. Based on the support that has been shown thus far, she is confident in its approval. 

“Whatever we can do to strengthen children’s lives, give them that resilience, and help them make better choices as they get older, I think that should be our goal,” Dampier said.