• Public Affairs

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  • ACOEM Integrates National Drug Code Data into On-line Practice Guideline’s Database

    The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) has integrated the U.S. Federal Drug Administration’s National Drug Code (NDC) data into APG-I, the College’s on-line Occupational Medicine Practice Guidelines data base. With more than 600 medication-related recommendations, users of the Third Edition of the Practice Guidelines now have access to more than 40 thousand generic and brand name drug formulations. This data integration is coupled with functionality that will allow APG-I users the ability to search for specific drugs by ingredient, generic, or brand name to find the related Guidelines recommendations.

    ACOEM’s evidence-based recommendations for treatment of injured workers differentiate the appropriateness of an intervention by time of expected recovery. This can be very important especially when riskier medications are involved. Opioids for example are widely recommended for post-surgical use, but longer term use requires much more selectivity. This new functionality will allow adjusters a more complete review of treatment and medication recommendations.

    “Having quality evidence-based recommendations that inform the prescriber of expanded options such as the use of anti-depressants in workers with chronic low back pain is essential” said Guidelines Editor in Chief, Kurt Hegmann, MD.

    “This advancement is also very exciting for users of our crosswalk product which links recommendations with CPT and ICD9 codes,” said Chris Wolfkiel, PhD, ACOEM’s Director of Practice Guidelines. “By establishing the relationship between evidence-weighted recommendations and NDC codes support for evidence-based formularies is now possible with our CodesLink-Rx product,” he said.

    ACOEM's Practice Guidelines, 3rd edition, is the gold standard in effective treatment of occupational injuries and illnesses for physicians and all those involved in worker health and workers' compensation systems. Evidence-based, the Guidelines were developed in response to rising expectations for quality of care; increased expectations for good outcomes and medical safety; the need to stop overutilization and curb unproductive and even harmful procedures; and the need to reflect advances in medicine based on the best available evidence. The Guidelines’ on-line platform, APG-I, allows browsing and searching via text and keyword, and ICD9 and CPT codes, and allows support for mobile applications and CodesLink™ crosswalk products.

    ACOEM (www.acoem.org), an international society of more than 4,000 occupational physicians and other health care professionals, provides leadership to promote optimal health and safety of workers, workplaces, and environments. For additional information, call Chris Wolfkiel at 224/265-6815.