Capturing Patient-Reported Data About Opioid Use

Capturing Patient-Reported Data About Opioid Use

Project status

Pilot with results


Daniel Lee, MD, MS 

Zarina Ali, MD, MS 

Brian Sennett, MD 

Rachel Kleinman, MHSA 

Hannah Lacko, MA 

Annamarie Horan, PhD, MPA 

Mary Coolet, PhD 

Eric Hume, MD 

Samir Mehta, MD 


Food and Drug Administration


There is a risk that leftover opioids may be misused by the person they were prescribed to or by others. 

Interventions to tailor or “right-size” opioid prescriptions to better match patient needs must be identified and implemented to address this issue. A better understanding of the number of opioid pills patients use after surgery is needed to enable such interventions. 


We built and deployed an automated text messaging program designed to capture patient-reported data about pain levels and the use of prescription opioids. 


During the initial pilot, more than 1,100 patients undergoing orthopaedic or urology surgical procedures consented to use the system. And in that population, we found that roughly 61 percent of the opioid tablets that had been prescribed went unused.  

When brought to scale, this system could help clinical departments develop patient-informed and procedure-specific short-term opioid guidelines aimed at reducing the number of unused opioid tablets following surgery.

Way to Health Specs

Learn more about the platform
Activity monitoring
Arms and randomization
Criteria-based rules
Dashboard view
Device integration
EHR integration
Multiple languages
Patient portal messaging
Patient-reported outcomes capture
Photo messaging
Remote patient monitoring
Schedule-based rules
Survey administration
Two-way texting
Vitals monitoring