Development and Implementation of a Prescription Opioid Registry Across Diverse Health Systems

Development and Implementation of a Prescription Opioid Registry Across Diverse Health Systems

Published: Jul 01, 2022
Publisher: JAMA Open, vol. 5, issue 2

Ray G. Thomas

Andrea Altschuler

Ruchir Karmali

Ingrid Binswanger

Jason M. Glanz

Christina L. Clarke

Brian Ahmedani

Susan E. Andrade

Joseph A. Boscarino

Robin E. Clark

Irina V. Haller

Rulin Hechter

Douglas W. Roblin

Katherine Sanchez

Bobbi Jo Yarborough

Steffani R. Bailey

Dennis McCarty

Kari A. Stephens

Carmen L. Rosa

Andrea L. Rubinstein

Cynthia I. Campbell


Develop and implement a prescription opioid registry in 10 diverse health systems across the US and describe trends in prescribed opioids between 2012 and 2018.

Materials and Methods

Using electronic health record and claims data, we identified patients who had an outpatient fill for any prescription opioid, and/or an opioid use disorder diagnosis, between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2018. The registry contains distributed files of prescription opioids, benzodiazepines and other select medications, opioid antagonists, clinical diagnoses, procedures, health services utilization, and health plan membership. Rates of outpatient opioid fills over the study period, standardized to health system demographic distributions, are described by age, gender, and race/ethnicity among members without cancer.


The registry includes 6 249 710 patients and over 40 million outpatient opioid fills. For the combined registry population, opioid fills declined from a high of 0.718 per member-year in 2013 to 0.478 in 2018, and morphine milligram equivalents (MMEs) per fill declined from 985 MMEs per fill in 2012 to 758 MMEs in 2018. MMEs per member declined from 692 MMEs per member in 2012 to 362 MMEs per member in 2018.


This study established a population-based opioid registry across 10 diverse health systems that can be used to address questions related to opioid use. Initial analyses showed large reductions in overall opioid use per member among the combined health systems. The registry will be used in future studies to answer a broad range of other critical public health issues relating to prescription opioid use.

How do you apply evidence?

Take our quick four-question survey to help us curate evidence and insights that serve you.

Take our survey