Research funded by NIDA and NIH evaluated Narx Score rating system as compared to World Health Organization ‘gold standard’ for substance screening

BOSTON, October 26, 2021 – Bamboo Health, formerly Appriss Health and PatientPing, a healthcare technology solutions company focused on fostering care collaboration and providing information and actionable insights across the entire continuum of care, has announced that a newly published peer-reviewed study concludes the company’s NarxCare solution is effective as an “initial universal prescription opioid-risk screener.”

The peer-reviewed study was conducted through the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN) and funded by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) HEAL Initiative. The study’s goal was to evaluate the validity of the NarxCare Narcotic Score as a clinical measure of opioid misuse and substance use disorder. Researchers assessed NarxCare risk thresholds relative to the “gold standard” World Health Organization Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test (WHO ASSIST).

“Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) are critical for pharmacists and clinicians to identify risky prescription medication use, but before our study the association between the Narx Score and other indicators of opioid use or risk had not been externally evaluated,” said Dr. Gerald Cochran, associate professor of internal medicine and director of research for the Program on Addiction Research, Clinical Care, Knowledge, and Advocacy in the Division of Epidemiology at the University of Utah School of Medicine, one of the leaders of the study team. “Our research shows that Bamboo Health’s NarxCare metric is a useful initial screening tool for prescribers to determine whether a patient is at risk for opioid misuse.”

Researchers recruited 1,523 participants from 19 Kroger community pharmacies located in both urban and rural Ohio and Indiana who were picking up prescribed opioids. The study was led by Dr. Cochran. The researchers have no relationship with Bamboo Health.

“This independent peer-reviewed study confirms what we at Bamboo Health have known about NarxCare’s ability to provide prescribers with clinical decision support to assess a patient’s vulnerability to opioid use disorder and misuse,” said Rob Cohen, company president and general manager. “We’re proud of the role our technology plays in helping clinicians and pharmacists make more informed prescribing and dispensing decisions to improve patient safety and health outcomes.”

NarxCare is a clinical decision support tool and care management solution that helps prescribers and dispensers analyze controlled substance data from PDMPs and manage substance use disorder. NarxCare automatically analyzes a patient’s PDMP data and provides risk scores along with interactive visualizations of usage patterns of opioids, sedatives, and stimulants to help identify potential risk factors.

The study used narcotic scores to divide participants into three groups representing low-, moderate- and high-risk for misuse; the thresholds proved clinically useful as a universal screen to advise providers on next steps with the patient, such as further review of the data or an additional screening with the patient.

“Pharmacists and physicians can use the thresholds as calls-to-action to further review details in the patient’s prescription history in conjunction with other relevant patient health information as they attend to the patients,” added Cohen. “The analysis, thresholds, and associated scores are not intended to work as sole determinants of a patient’s potential risk. We instruct our customers and clinician users that the purpose of NarxCare and the PDMP is to support their clinical decisions, not displace them.”

A Narx Score is a set of three-digit numbers that correspond to dispensing information for three different types of controlled substances (prescriptions). A separate score exists for narcotics, sedatives, and stimulants. The scores range from 000 to 999. The third number in the score indicates the number of current dispensations. The first two numbers are calculated based on data from the PDMP, including number of prescribers, number of pharmacies where prescriptions were dispensed, strength of the prescriptions, and overlapping prescriptions. More recent prescriptions and changes are weighted more heavily than older prescribing patterns.

Bamboo Health’s PDMP solutions are used in more than 40 states and territories and are leading the nation in prescription data monitoring.

About Bamboo Health

Bamboo Health, formerly Appriss Health and PatientPing, is a healthcare technology solutions company, focused on fostering care collaboration and providing information and actionable insights across the entire continuum of care. As one of the largest, most diverse care collaboration networks in the country, our technology solutions equip healthcare providers and payers with software, information, and insights to facilitate whole person care across the physical and behavioral health spectrums. By serving 2,500 hospitals, 7,800 post-acute facilities, 25,000 pharmacies, 37 health plans, 45 state governments, and over one million acute and ambulatory providers through more than 500 clinical information systems electronically, we impact over 1 billion patient encounters annually in provider workflow. Health systems, payers, providers, pharmacies, governments, individuals, and other organizations rely on Bamboo Health to improve care and reduce cost. Visit www.BambooHealth.com to learn more.

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Media Contact

Kim Warth
Amendola Communications (for Bamboo Health)
(303) 918-9205
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