Two New Tools for Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

Sep 13 2017

Two New Tools for Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

One of the positive aspects of any war is the necessity of developing new technologies to advance the cause and eventually, defeat the enemy. Similarly, if we are to address the opioid addiction and overdose epidemic, we need new technologies to help us battle and make substantial progress to help save people’s lives. Two such tools, a software program called InsightVision, and a wiki platform entitled the Opioid Resource Coalition Hub, are making dealing with the epidemic a little easier.

Bill Barberg, founder and President of InsightFormation, completely re-built their strategy management software platform, InsightVision, in 2012 so it would be ideal for helping communities, not just corporations, manage the details of strategy implementation. It has been helping communities across the nation ever since. Barberg says, “One of the biggest challenges communities have is being overwhelmed with all the different parts [of fighting the epidemic] so the software helps them come up with a comprehensive strategy, manage their plans and their progress in a much easier way.”

Patrick Lenihan, Ph.D., Public Health Institute of Metro Chicago was the Executive Director of the PHIMC when they deployed InsightVision to manage the multitude of projects to improve healthy eating and active living that were funded by the economic stimulus act. He says, “Deploying InsightVision [software] was the highlight of our Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) Program.”

The InsightVision software makes things easier in four basic ways. First, it helps improve collaboration among organizations and people who need to work together as a team to address a complex issue like reducing opioid misuse in a community. It can be a complex task to engage community cooperation and come up with mutual objectives, but this software makes managing this information simple and easily accessible.

Second, the software enables people to share their wisdom with one another and make a collective, rather than simply an individual impact. Third, it can improve transparency and accountability by allowing the user to track progress on many different actions as well as the effectiveness of different elements of their strategy.

Lastly, it can empower strategic plans to meet evolving changes. You can easily modify your plans within the software and deal with obstacles that were unexpected. The software is available for purchase and well worth the investment. More information on the software and its effectiveness can be found on insightformation.com.

Another useful tool in fighting the opioid epidemic is a high-value wiki (like Wikipedia) called the Opioid Coalition Resource Hub. It is a national resource for coalition templates, tools, and information. According to InsightFormation’s Website, “The goal of the Hub is to build a nationwide network of individual volunteers, schools, nonprofits, and other organizations sharing information and assets to help everyone more effectively address the opioid crisis. As it grows, the Hub will be filled with valuable information, strategy templates, educational tools, and other digital resources to be used by all. There is no charge to use the Hub.”  The Opioid Coalition Resource Hub can be accessed at http://ifi-opioidcrisis.wikispaces.com

Barberg says there are three goals of the Resource Hub, “The first goal is to equip members of coalitions (often volunteers) with information and tools they need to act quickly and effectively. The second goal is to help communities across the country avoid the wasted time in reinventing and recreating things that others have already developed. The third goal is to provide examples of good content like measures and data sources, partners and actions that coalitions can use to effectively manage strategy implementation.”

For such an enormous problem as the opioid epidemic, it will truly take an “all hands on deck” approach to fighting the battle. This relatively new software and the wiki platform for sharing ideas can be a crucial first step towards utilizing our collective wisdom about how to approach this alarming situation.

InsightFormation was a finalist in the 21st Century Communities Challenge for U.S. mayors in 2017 at the Winter Innovation Summit in Salt Lake City.