Local hospitals are working together to reduce medication abuse - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local hospitals are working together to reduce medication abuse

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RICHLAND, Wash.--The Tri-Cities' three hospitals were selected as part of a $550,000 research contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kadlec Regional Hospital, Kennewick General Hospital and Lourdes Medical Center are all working together to reduce the non emergency room visits by keeping track of patients electronically who go from hospital to hospital seeking medicine.

A healthcare information sharing system will be available for the three hospitals giving doctors the ability to see the number of times a patient has visited other hospitals. 

Health professionals say the newly developed Consistent Care Program will model a similar program at Spokane hospitals that is reducing half of emergency room visits made by enrolled patients. 

Emergency rooms are the primary source for receiving pain medication and now nationwide statistics show that emergency room visits and unintentional overdoses from prescription drugs are starting to rise.

Research for the project was conducted by Washington State University School of Nursing.