An effort is underway to better track and understand community needs and progress surrounding the opioid crisis in Hampshire County.

The city of Northampton received a $100,000 Community Compact Information Technology grant last June to build a regional, centralized database. The project is run by Hampshire HOPE, based at the Northampton Health Department.

“We are looking at this as being a health information exchange,” said Opioid Program Coordinator Cherry Sullivan. “Although we are looking at the impact of opioid use, we hope to potentially look at other health conditions and disparities in our communities, to be able to meet the needs of people where they are at.”

The database will track Narcan use and availability, overdoses and overdose deaths, Drug Addiction and Recovery Team data, and public health information and case management data for all of Hampshire County.

Sullivan said the database will also provide a case management system for DART, to help them to do their work more efficiently and effectively.

Using the database, Hampshire HOPE, and the Northampton Health Department, will be able to produce customizable reports and GIS maps that can be put online for community and media access.

“We don’t want other municipalities or regions to feel like they need to reinvent the wheel,” Sullivan said. “We have allowed for flexibility and growth so the database can potentially meet the needs of other communities.”

The database will comply with health privacy laws; any information that is disseminated from the database to partners or the public will be redacted.

The team anticipates the database will be ready in June.

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