New online portal examines overdose deaths

Ohioans can now view regularly-updated, local data concerning the amount of suspected overdoses treated at local hospitals, following the release of a new interactive Web site from the Ohio Department of Health.

The web-based “interactive dashboard” will supplement, “death certificate data with more timely county-level data about emergency department visits for suspected drug overdoses,” according to an ODH press release.

Regularly updated overdose data is, “critical for communities to understand the impact of suspected drug overdoses seen in emergency departments and to identify emerging overdose trends.” said ODH Director Amy Acton, MD, MPH.

“This new dashboard provides an additional tool to assist communities with targeting and coordinating prevention efforts and resources.”

The new resource uses data from the state’s syndromic surveillance system, which collects non-identifiable patient information such as the primary reason for a patient’s visit in most of Ohio’s emergency departments.

State and local public health officials have used syndromic surveillance data for several years to identify spikes in drug-related emergency department visits – which could be due not only to overdoses but also to drug and alcohol withdrawal.

This data has been refined to specifically identify suspected drug overdoses which are reported in the ED dashboard beginning with data from the third quarter of 2016. The data can be used by state and local public health officials, substance use disorder professionals, and others to identify increases and unusual patterns in emergency department visits for suspected overdoses.

“Drug overdose death data is important in understanding and responding to this crisis, but there’s a lag in the data’s availability because it’s based on death certificates, which take time to complete and analyze,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “I am pleased that the Ohio Department of Health has launched a new publicly available web-based dashboard with more timely data about suspected drug overdoses treated in emergency departments.”

Information may be accessed through the Ohio Department of Health Web site, www.odh.ohio.gov.

This post expires and will no longer be available at 3:29 pm on Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

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