In Missouri, drug-induced deaths outnumber deaths from homicide and alcohol, a statistic that also holds true in Clay County. Among the culprits – forged prescription pain medications or opioids for nonmedical use.

According to the most recent data from the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services, from 2003-2013 there were 9,122 drug-induced deaths, 4,548 homicides and 4,158 alcohol-induced deaths. In Clay County, those numbers were 260, 79 and 205, respectively.


9,122 drug-induced deaths
4,548 homicides
4,158 alcohol-induced deaths

Clay County

260 drug-induced deaths
79 homicides
205 alcohol-induced deaths

North Kansas City Hospital is taking the lead to help reduce forgery of these prescriptions and opioid addiction by implementing electronic prescribing of controlled substances. They comprise 10%-11% of all prescriptions written in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration. In addition to combating overdose deaths and forgery, this effort will meet DEA security requirements.

A Simple Process

authentication process for electronically prescribed controlled substances

As part of a two-part authentication process for electronically prescribed controlled substances, Patrick D. Griffith, MD, a pain management specialist with the NKCH Pain Clinic and Pain Source Solutions, acknowledges a password via email on his smartphone.

The DEA requirements involve a two-factor authentication process. For NKCH prescribers, that involves the prescriber’s scanned fingerprint or a password acknowledgement (if the prescriber is remote) and a one-time code to ensure the prescriber is approved to sign and send a controlled substance prescription. The patient’s pharmacy receives the prescription through a secure electronic medical record system.

Patient Benefits

With electronic prescribing of controlled substances, prescribers and staff at North Kansas City Hospital no longer put printed prescriptions in the hands of patients. This not only prevents lost prescriptions, it also avoids pharmacy wait times. Patients no longer bring their prescription to their pharmacy and wait for it to be filled. They simply go to their pharmacy, where their prescription is ready to be picked up.