Breaking Misconceptions About Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Drug Addiction

There has been an ongoing debate about the efficacy of using Medication Assisted Treatment or MAT in managing substance abuse among drug addicts, particularly those who have developed high-risk opioid dependence. Despite evidence-based practices that have shown MAT as an effective form of therapy for drug addiction and substance use disorders, there are still misconceptions and myths propagated by those who argue that MAT is simply substituting other addictive drugs for opiate addiction.

It’s high time that these misconceptions and myths are addressed to maximize the potentials of using MAT in successfully overcoming patients’ opioid dependence and maintaining their long-term recovery.

 

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Opioid abuse involves persons who have developed an addiction to opiates that include prescription painkillers and pain relievers such as OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, as well as the illicit drug heroin and opioid synthetics like Fentanyl.

In helping combat opioid addiction, MAT is used along with comprehensive behavioral therapy and support in customizing medications to address a drug addict’s cravings, withdrawal, and relapse prevention. MAT includes the use of anti-craving medications such as buprenorphine (Suboxone) and methadone, or opioid effect blockers like naltrexone (Vivitrol).

Buprenorphine and methadone have consistently been proven effective in treating opioid dependence. Naltrexone has also become vital in preventing opioid overdose and death. Therefore, increased access to these medication-assisted treatments for opioid use disorders is critical in curbing the rising opioid abuse epidemic.

According to Michael Botticelli, former Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, MAT saves lives “while increasing the chances a person will remain in treatment, learn the skills, and build the networks necessary for long-term recovery.”

 

Busting the Myths

  • It is not true that MAT introduces another drug addiction in treating opioid dependence. Evidence-based research shows that comprehensive drug addiction treatment plans using a combination of medication and behavioral therapy can successfully treat substance abuse disorders and help sustain long-term recovery.
  • MAT does not increase the risk of drug overdose. In fact, it prevents overdoses in patients by achieving detoxification faster and helping in addiction recovery by improving their quality of life, functionality, and their ability to handle stress better. MAT has also been proven to reduce the risk of death as patients begin their recovery.
  • The claim that there’s no proof to MAT’s greater effectivity over abstinence is false. In fact, according to the National Council for Behavioral Health, MAT is recommended as the first line of treatment for opioid addiction by The National Institute of Drug Abuse, Americal Medical Association, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and other agencies that promote evidence-based studies on MAT as a successful solution for opioid dependence.

 

How Drug Addiction Treatment Facilities Can Maximize MAT

Behavioral and drug addiction treatment clinics can maximize the use of MAT with reliable clinical workflow tools such as the Zoobook EHR. This powerful EHR system provides digital versions of patients’ treatment plans that can efficiently plot out a patient’s therapy and medication schedules, set reminders for doctors and therapists, report patient updates in real-time, and monitor patient recovery remotely through digital gadgets and telemedicine.

 

For a FREE demo on how the Zoobook EHR can best help your agency integrate MAT in your clinical processes, call 1-800-995-6997 or visit www.zoobooksystems.com for more information.

Digital Challenges in Managing Healthcare

Modernization is inevitable as technology transforms the way people do business, communicate with each other, and live their lives with greater comfort and convenience. The same technological transformation is evident in the field of healthcare through the ever-evolving innovations in medical treatments, patient care, and in the overall workflow in hospitals and clinical facilities.

As in other industries, going digital in healthcare has not only become a trend but a necessity. More and more healthcare institutions all over the world have synergized their clinical processes and optimized their medical services by going digital, hence improving their patient and customer care and taking advantage of a paperless workflow that gives access to updated data in real-time.

Thanks to digital technology in healthcare, patients receive better treatment and monitoring with wearable medical devices. Doctors and other healthcare practitioners are also more inclined to use virtual reality tools and artificial intelligence that aid them in their training, work simulations, and in actual medical procedures.

There is also the digital innovation of telemedicine or telehealth, which allows remote patient consultations and treatments. With this technology, physicians and clinicians get to communicate with patients from any location via online video conferencing and also monitor their health with digital devices that instantly transmit patients’ vital medical data.

Given all the amazing benefits of digital technology in the field of healthcare, there are still challenges that some institutions need to overcome before they can completely embrace the kind of modernization that will transform their entire organization.

The fear of change is one of the major roadblocks that stop healthcare institutions from going all-out in the digital arena. However, with the right change of mindset and an openness to the endless possibilities that lie ahead, a healthcare organization can engage everyone in accepting change and appreciating the value of a full digital transformation in their work processes.

Cost is another factor that prevents some healthcare facilities from maximizing the benefits of digital technology. It’s a matter of changing perspectives and seeing how inefficient clinical and HR processes are remedied when the organization goes digital. In the long run, customer satisfaction and retention from improved healthcare services will determine the cost efficiency of an agency’s digital transformation.

Last but not least, data security is one of the most challenging aspects of digital technology that remains a perennial threat in managing technological advancements in healthcare. Organizations need to take extra precautions because any data breach can compromise the privacy of their patients as well as the entire institution.

With a highly secure EHR system such as the Zoobook EHR, healthcare facilities can rest assured that their data is protected 24/7 by a powerful software that prevents unauthorized access and keeps vital medical reports and patient information safely stored in a private server.

The Zoobook EHR is renowned for facilitating the digital transformation of hundreds of healthcare facilities around the world. With this reliable EHR software, clinicians are able to efficiently streamline their work processes, optimize patient care, and enjoy the full benefits of a paperless and remarkably efficient digital system.

Call 1-800-995-6997 to request for a FREE demo of the Zoobook EHR. For more information, visit www.zoobooksystems.com.

Helping Healthcare Workers Avoid Burnout

In almost all career fields, workers often reach the point of exhaustion, fatigue, and burnout in their daily grind. But while physical exhaustion can be remedied by a considerable amount of rest and relaxation, burnout is a major cause of concern in the workforce because it usually results in lost revenue due to decreased productivity and, eventually, higher staff turnover.

Burnout in the field of healthcare and medicine is an immediate concern that needs to be addressed as it not only impacts the emotional, physical, and mental well-being of healthcare practitioners, but it also puts their patients at risk of poor quality care and even medical errors.

In a 2018 study conducted by the Physicians Foundation, a whopping 80% of physicians surveyed reported that they felt overworked, while 78% of the respondents expressed that they either occasionally or always felt burned out from their work. These are alarming numbers given that every healthcare worker’s prolonged exposure to occupational stressors can have serious consequences on the kind of care and attention they give to their patients as well as on the reputation of the organization they work for.

Physicians, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, clinicians, and other healthcare professionals are the most prone to burnout, emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, depression, and a low sense of fulfillment from their job because they often endure long work hours and highly stressful work routines every day.

There are ways to minimize the risks of burnout with healthcare personnel, and it will be wise for medical organizations to explore these strategies in order to maintain the all-important patient connection that gives meaning to every worker’s commitment to the healthcare profession.

An effective way to reduce stressful routines in the healthcare arena is to set up a system that will organize and considerably simplify the staff’s work processes. In fact, a growing number of medical and clinical institutions all over the world have already shifted to EHR systems that fully digitize their health records, giving way to a more convenient and efficient transmission of information and patient data among healthcare workers.

With a fully functional EHR system, a healthcare institution benefits from breakthrough time management features such as calendar reminders for patient treatment and follow-up reports, accessible yet highly secure medical records that can be conveniently updated in real-time from any location, better HR processes, among many other digital capabilities. There are also EHRs that are equipped with telemedicine or telehealth features that allow remote patient monitoring and treatment via online video conferencing and electronic communication.

Such EHR digital innovations remarkably help healthcare workers avoid burnout as they are able to reduce unnecessary paperwork (and go paperless!), minimize the time needed to create and file their reports, and streamline their work processes with a more efficient communication system among their peers as well as with their respective patients.

Zoobook Systems offers a unique EHR system that is packed with such revolutionary digital features that already benefit hundreds of clinical facilities from around the world. For a FREE demo of the Zoobook EHR, call 1-800-995-6997 or visit www.zoobooksystems.com.

Leveraging Data for Healthcare

In today’s digital world, almost all aspects of life rely on technology for efficiency and convenience. This is essentially true in the field of medicine and healthcare. Modern healthcare practices involve fully digitizing health records to streamline clinical and HR processes, improve patient monitoring and treatment through online updates, and make it convenient for healthcare workers to share reports and communicate remotely in real-time.

In order to keep pace with the fast-changing world driven by the ever-evolving technological advancements in the field of medicine, healthcare practitioners from all over the world have been migrating their clinical data to electronic health records or EHRs, which exemplify the most beneficial and widespread use of data in healthcare.

With EHR, medical facilities are able to store and regularly update their patients’ health records in digital format. These include vital information such as medical history, laboratory test results, allergies, as well as real-time records of treatment and therapy schedules.

An EHR system can be a treasure trove of patient data that can be securely shared and accessed by both public and private healthcare providers. The best thing about going paperless and having relevant patient data easily available in digital format is that clinicians can modify and update the data as needed as well as save precious time in transmitting such information to other healthcare practitioners who are involved in a patient’s treatment.

Here are some other benefits of using EHR to maximize data in healthcare:

CONVENIENT DIGITAL REPORTS

With the wealth of data made available in EHR systems, filing reports become as easy as a few clicks on a clinician’s tablet. It offers efficient communication and sharing of data among healthcare practitioners using relevant data, case studies, reference materials, and patient records that are readily updated in real-time from any location at any time of the day.

TIMELY REMINDERS

Time management in healthcare practice takes on a more efficient and effective process with EHR since the system can reliably provide reminders and warnings to both patients and clinicians pertaining to important schedules such as laboratory tests, therapy sessions, follow-up checkups, and other doctor’s orders and prescriptions.

ENHANCED PRIVACY AND SECURITY

Going paperless with EHR makes it easier to protect patients’ privacy because all the data is securely stored in electronic format. This prevents unauthorized access to the private data and readily identifies everyone who logs in to view, use, and update the information provided by the system.

REMOTE AND REAL-TIME PATIENT MONITORING

Telehealth or telemedicine can now be done using a competent EHR system. With telemedicine, health practitioners are able to conduct remote patient treatment and monitoring in real-time from anywhere in the world through online video conferences done via smartphones, tablets, and other wearables and wireless devices. This kind of remote healthcare setup is also helpful in providing personalized treatment to patients and often prevents hospitalization or re-admission in most cases.

 

All these ways to leverage data for healthcare are available in the revolutionary software of the Zoobook EHR. To request for a free demo, call 1-800-995-6997 or visit www.zoobooksystems.com.