Nurses from local medical practices learn about the new MassPAT monitoring tool on Thursday, Oct. 13.

News Brief: MassPAT opioid script training under way in southern Berkshires

MassPAT replaces the Prescription Monitoring Program and will include the ability to search records in other states in addition to offering more information to help providers make decisions for patient care.

MassPAT prescription tool launched, trainings held

Great Barrington — On Thursday, Oct. 13, the Great Barrington/Fairview Hospital Task Force on Opioid Abuse hosted two education programs for physicians and medical professionals in order to introduce them to the Massachusetts Prescription Awareness Tool (MassPAT), which was launched by the state in August and will become mandatory for use in every prescription or refill for any narcotic Schedule II or III drug as of Saturday, Oct. 15.

Fairview pharmacist Steve Bannon (right, in red shirt) and others met at Fairview Hospital on Thursday to learn about the new MassPAT medical tool.
Fairview pharmacist Steve Bannon (right, in red shirt) and others met at Fairview Hospital on Thursday to learn about the new MassPAT medical tool.

MassPAT replaces the Prescription Monitoring Program and will include the ability to search records in other states in addition to offering more information to help providers make decisions for patient care. The training sessions, which were held at Fairview Hospital and East Mountain Medical Associates, not only provided information on how to use the tool, but also offered medical professionals and staff the opportunity to discuss questions and concerns including insurance coverage and issues surrounding Narcan, state policies, and opportunities to improve efficiency.

“There is a lot of science showing a decrease in deaths because the physicians now have information on patient history at their fingertips,” said presenter Lynn Ferro, Project Coordinator from the Northwestern District Attorney’s office, in reference to a study that showed that patients with one or more risk factors accounted for 55 percent of overdose deaths. Tammy Lewis, an experienced trainer and Controlled Substance Refill Program coordinator from Valley Medical Group in Florence, Mass., joined Ferro in providing attendees with the tutorial.

Great Barrington Health Agent Jayne Smith coordinated the event and noted, “This is one of the first live trainings western Massachusetts offered to help local medical communities learn how to use this important tool.”

–E.E.