Development and implementation of a prescription opioid registry across diverse health systems

G. Thomas Ray, Andrea Altschuler, Ruchir Karmali, Ingrid Binswanger, Jason M. Glanz, Christina L. Clarke, Brian Ahmedani, Susan E. Andrade, Joseph A. Boscarino, Robin E. Clark, Irina V. Haller, Rulin Hechter, Douglas W. Roblin, Katherine Sanchez, Bobbi Jo Yarborough, Steffani R. Bailey, Dennis McCarty, Kari A. Stephens, Carmen L. Rosa, Andrea L. RubinsteinCynthia I. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Develop and implement a prescription opioid registry in 10 diverse health systems across the US and describe trends in prescribed opioids between 2012 and 2018. Materials and Methods: Using electronic health record and claims data, we identified patients who had an outpatient fill for any prescription opioid, and/or an opioid use disorder diagnosis, between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2018. The registry contains distributed files of prescription opioids, benzodiazepines and other select medications, opioid antagonists, clinical diagnoses, procedures, health services utilization, and health plan membership. Rates of outpatient opioid fills over the study period, standardized to health system demographic distributions, are described by age, gender, and race/ethnicity among members without cancer. Results: The registry includes 6 249 710 patients and over 40 million outpatient opioid fills. For the combined registry population, opioid fills declined from a high of 0.718 per member-year in 2013 to 0.478 in 2018, and morphine milligram equivalents (MMEs) per fill declined from 985 MMEs per fill in 2012 to 758 MMEs in 2018. MMEs per member declined from 692 MMEs per member in 2012 to 362 MMEs per member in 2018. Conclusion: This study established a population-based opioid registry across 10 diverse health systems that can be used to address questions related to opioid use. Initial analyses showed large reductions in overall opioid use per member among the combined health systems. The registry will be used in future studies to answer a broad range of other critical public health issues relating to prescription opioid use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberooac030
JournalJAMIA Open
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022


  • EHR data
  • opioid use disorder
  • prescription opioids
  • registry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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