NarxCare score does not predict adverse outcomes

NarxCare narcotics score does not predict adverse outcomesReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 2019

The increasingly used NarxCare narcotics score does not predict adverse outcomes or patient dissatisfaction after elective spine surgery,

An opioid use score based on state prescription databases does not predict complications or other adverse outcomes in patients undergoing spinal surgery, reports a study in the journal Spine.

They write, 

“the current study did not identify perioperative outcome/satisfaction differences based on preoperative narcotics use criteria.”    

Study questions routine use of previous narcotic use to predict surgical risks

There is concern that previous opioid use might affect the risk of complications and other adverse outcomes of surgery, including spinal surgery. However, previous studies of this issue have reached conflicting results.

The study included 346 patients undergoing elective spinal surgery.

The NarxCarescore approximates a patient’s level of previous opioid use, calculated from state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs).

The score accounts not only for number and dosage of opioid prescriptions, but also for the number of prescribers, number of pharmacies, and overlapping prescriptions.

NarxCare scores range from 0 (no previous opioid use) to 999 (highest level of use).

On admission to the hospital for spinal surgery,

  • nearly 80 percent of patients had a NarxCare score of greater than zero.
  • About six percent were in the highest category of NarxCare score (500 or higher).

About four percent of patients had some type of adverse event.

the rate of adverse outcomes was not significantly different for patients at different levels of NarxCare score.

NarxCare scores were also unrelated to patient satisfaction scores – increasingly viewed as an important indicator of the quality of healthcare.

How can they possibly even imagine that using NarxCare scores, developed by a private company nosing into your medical records and state databases (PDMPs) would show any benefit in patient satisfaction?

There was a previous version of this tool and the names and functions are so similar that it could be the same company: NarxCare vs NarxCheck.

I have previously posted about both:

2 thoughts on “NarxCare score does not predict adverse outcomes

  1. GZB

    Ugh! No, no possibility of abuse on behalf of the players that report to these databases! I’ve shared before my run in with a pharmacist that flagged me inappropriately. If my insurance company had not informed me I never would have known.
    Imagine how politicians would feel about a database that could be reported to by opposition parties. Unbelievable!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      With EHR, PDMP, and other “big data” they’ve created these unimaginably huge databases that have spread through the Internet to who knows where.

      These monstrous info-hungry databases have their tentacles into all kinds of things, documented or not, deliberately or not. We’ll never know.

      I think they’ve reached such complexity and scope that no one really is controlling the “whole”, even as all kinds of other parties are pulling out all kinds of data for their own purposes.

      Liked by 1 person


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