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Home » Uncategorized » UPDATE NM expands services statewide to health care providers

UPDATE NM expands services statewide to health care providers


Friday, August 14, 2020; Silver City, NM: After successfully launching a new program last year in southern New Mexico, the Center for Health Innovation is expanding UPDATE NM (Understanding Provider Demands and Advancing Timely Evidence in New Mexico) state-wide with support from the New Mexico Department of Health.   

UPDATE NM is an academic detailing program for health care providers where cutting-edge research and evidence is summarized and packaged into hands-on tools to improve the quality of patient care.

Alisha Herrick, UPDATE NM program manager, states, “We are thrilled to be able to offer this service to all health care prescribers in the state. It’s an opportunity to provide a meaning resource to extremely busy healthcare providers.”

The last few decades have seen a tremendous growth in knowledge about medications, treatments, and improved ways to care for patients. The problem is translating that knowledge into practice. Health care providers are faced with mounds of evidence published in articles every day. Because of this growth in research studies in addition to a slow adoption rate, it can take up to 17 years for new evidence-based procedures to be put into clinical practice.

UPDATE NM is part of a statewide effort to curtail the number of opioid overdose deaths in New Mexico. In the last five years, New Mexico has shown a slight decrease in the number of overdose deaths. However, the Land of Enchantment still holds the record for highest overdose deaths west of the Mississippi with 72 percent of the state’s overdoses involving prescription opioids.

Many unintended overdoses start with patients being prescribed opioids for pain which can lead to prescription misuse or those prescriptions falling into the wrong hands. For this reason, the current focus for UPDATE NM is chronic non-cancer pain management, which includes topics like establishing patient goals for pain and function, non-opioid treatments, medication dosing, and using the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP).

According to Dr. Michael Fischer, MD, MS., general internist, pharmaco-epidemiologist, health services researcher, associate professor of medicine at Harvard and director of NaRCAD (the National Resource Center for Academic Detailing), “Evidence shows when health care providers participate in Academic Detailing, there is between a 5-25% change in targeted behavior, including improved care for patients with diabetes, fewer high/dangerous opioid prescriptions and lower risk of overdoses.”

Academic Detailing is also good for the bottom line. “When using evidence-based practices, there is cost effectiveness by avoiding risky medications and preventing complications that could lead to unnecessary hospitalizations, “ says Fischer.

The service is ideal for health care providers located in New Mexico’s rural and frontier communities. Participating health care providers can receive up to five, free hours of continuing education that is required for maintenance of medical or nursing licensure.

UPDATE NM educator and professor at Eastern New Mexico University, Dr. Bob Phillips, D.Bh., said of the expanding program, “Our program can benefit all health care providers in New Mexico, not just those in the metro areas. With UPDATE NM, we come to you; its local and convenient. We customize the content by assessing what individual providers’ needs are, and then we match their needs with the relevant tools.”

Dr. Salvador Adame–Zambrano, MD, Family Medicine Doctor at Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces participated in the pilot program, “UPDATE NM has given me the confidence to show patients that they have other options to treat their pain and goals for their treatment without opioids. If I rate how confident I am [communicating with patients around realistic expectations of pain management] on a scale one to ten, I would say I am a nine or ten.”

Dr. Bob Phillips said UPDATE NM offers “health care providers education to feel more confident to help patients. If providers feel that way, they will pass it on which can translate into better overall patient outcomes.”

This program is funded by the Epidemiology and Response Division at the New Mexico Department of Health. For more information or to schedule a session with UPDATE NM call (575) 597-0031, email