Tennessee Department of Health Announces Requirements for Hospital Reporting on Drug Overdoses

Tennessee Public Chapter 959, which was passed in 2016, requires the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) to establish a method of collecting data from hospitals on substance abuse and misuse, and nonfatal and fatal opioid overdoses. The law was passed in response to a lack of current, timely data to understand the opioid epidemic.

Over the past year, a workgroup of hospitals assisted the TDH in the development of a pilot reporting system with three health systems piloting the system over the past several months.

The TDH now is ready to expand reporting to all acute care and critical access hospitals. All hospitals will be expected to successfully report their data by March 2018. The department launched a dedicated website with resources this week.

TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner has written a letter to hospitals statewide, encouraging them to provide contact information to ensure a smooth onboarding process for both hospitals and emergency departments. In addition, the state has drafted a Drug Overdose Reporting Manual and a DOR REDCap guide to enable resource planning.

The new opioid reporting website provides instructions for the data reporting process, as well as a variety of related materials and information, including:

Training materials and technical assistance
Frequently asked questions
List of state and federal partners
Patient education information for specific populations, including surgery/injury patients, teenagers, parents of teens and the elderly

On Tuesday, THA hosted a webinar with TDH regarding the launch of the department’s new opioid reporting requirements.

A recording of the joint webinar is available here.

Hospitals and clinical staff are encouraged to review the website and materials, as well as identify their organization’s key contacts for reporting. 

Please direct correspondence to TDH.Informatics@tn.gov and use the subject: “Drug Overdose Reporting.”

For additional information, contact Chris Clarke, 615-401-7437.