KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) -- A $550,000 grant from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will help three Tri-City hospitals set up a new system to track prescription drug addicts who visit multiple emergency rooms to get painkillers.
The Tri-City Herald reports the local hospitals are working with a Spokane doctor to set up a system similar to one he created at another hospital.
Dr. Darin Neven of Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center was able to cut in half the number of emergency room visits by patients in the program.
The Benton-Franklin Community Health Alliance says emergency room departments are the primary source of prescription pain medications. And national statistics show ER visits and unintentional overdoses from prescription drug abuse are rising.
Information from: Tri-City Herald, http://www.tri-cityherald.com