New dashboard shares data on opioids and substance use in Hennepin County

by Hennepin Healthcare

The Minnesota Electronic Health Record (MN EHR) Consortium and Hennepin County have launched a new data dashboard that monitors the opioid and substance use crisis in Hennepin County. This interactive, online report shows substance-involved emergency and hospital visits of Hennepin County residents. It uses real-time electronic health record data, updated monthly.

Public health, human services, healthcare, community-based organizations, researchers, policymakers, and others can use this data to identify emerging trends, help target lifesaving interventions, or for use in resource allocation, and policymaking.

“The dashboard shows the near real-time impact of the substance use crisis in Hennepin County hospitals,” said Dr. Tyler Winkelman, General Internal Medicine Division Director at Hennepin Healthcare who leads the project for the MN EHR Consortium. “It can be used to identify emerging trends like the rise in opioid overdoses or to confirm that methamphetamine use is of concern.” he explains. “It will also be useful in evaluating interventions and investments in resources in a timelier manner.”

The dashboard – referred to as the SUD dashboard or “substance use disorder dashboard,” is a product of the EHR Consortium. Hennepin Healthcare and Hennepin County have been key partners in the development, analysis and maintenance of the SUD dashboard, providing funding and subject matter expertise to support the work.

“Our goal is for the dashboard to become a common source of truth for having action focused conversations to address the epidemic of substance use in Hennepin County,” said Lolita Ulloa Hennepin County, Director of System Design. “To our knowledge, we are the first county in the United States to share near real-time, local data to address the substance use crisis.”

The SUD dashboard displays the current status of the substance use crisis, including what substances are bringing people to the hospital by age, gender, race and other demographic characteristics. The dashboard will be updated regularly and serve as a launchpad for future work.

Data suggest that July has historically brought the highest level of substance-related healthcare use in Hennepin County. The SUD dashboard is showing that there’s already a marked increase in emergency department visits and hospital admissions, related to opioids and psychostimulants, for 2023. “It’s our sincere hope that the dashboard will spur upstream prevention, and prevent overdoses and deaths in Hennepin County,” says Julie Bauch, Hennepin County Opioid Response Coordinator.

Access the SUD dashboard from the Hennepin County opioid epidemic response website:

Learn more