Opioid clock

Saturday, September 01, 2018 12:22 PM
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CMS leader develops visual to educate physicians on the opioid epidemic

by Staff report

The Colorado Medical Society is featuring a new graphic and interactive online tool to educate the public on the opioid epidemic. Designed and developed by incoming CMS President Deb Parsons, MD, FACP, the clock – available as a one-page graphic and interactive online tool with links to evidence-based resources and references – displays six drivers of the crisis from the positions of one o’clock to six o’clock and six categories of solutions from seven o’clock to 12 o’clock. A link for patients lies in the center and a real-time counter at the end “ticks” off 12 deaths/minute. The clock is not meant to be chronological and will continue to evolve.

Parsons created the idea for the opioid epidemic clock out of her “deep concern with the staggering statistics of opioid deaths and addiction,” she said. Like many physicians, she frequently heard stories of lives lost and lives affected by opioids. She worked on the opioid clock as a fellow of the Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership (RIHEL) program.

Parsons’ vision is to empower any individual to use the opioid clock to spread knowledge and understanding of the causes of and the necessary solutions of the opioid crisis. She urges stakeholders to use the clock during crucial conversations with everyone from the uninitiated to topic experts and specifically with the lay public, affected individuals and families, legislators and health care professionals. “Key points to understand are that addiction is a chronic disease and is not a moral failure.  Everyone has a role and everyone can help reverse the crisis,” she said.

Parsons recently presented the clock at the Public Health in the Rockies conference. It can be seen online at http://members.cms.org/clock.

Posted in: Colorado Medicine


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