Many of you are aware that the opiate epidemic has continued to increase in recent years, with devastating impacts on communities across the nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 130 people die every day from an opioid overdose in the United States. We at WSHA are committed to increasing opioid stewardship in Washington, Alaska and Oregon. Our goal Is to improve opioid prescribing practices, increase access to treatment services, decrease overdoses and prevent future dependence. One of the ways we are achieving this work is through the Opioid Prescribing Reports.
WSHA, in partnership with the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA), is preparing to release the first Opioid Prescribing Reports based on Washington State Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) data. The Opioid Prescribing Reports are a system-level snapshot of opioid prescribing behaviors by specialty group, including peer benchmarks for Washington State and reflecting prescribing to all patients. Reports will focus on four metrics aligned with CDC and Bree Collaborative guidelines, beginning with acute opioid prescribing for opioid-naïve patients. The reports are largely made possible through the HB 1427 legislation, advocated for by WSHA.
The Opioid Prescribing Reports are intended to empower Washington State providers to be good stewards of opioid prescriptions. The likelihood of chronic opioid use increases with each additional day of medication supplied, starting with the third day. That is no small statistic. We at WSHA want to ensure that prescribers have the necessary tools and resources to minimize patients’ unnecessary exposure to opioids. The system, specialty and even provider-specific data included in the report will enable member hospitals to set targeted goals and leverage quality improvement systems to achieve change.
I know that WSHA members are committed to addressing the opioid crisis, and we are dedicated to partnering with you in this mission. If your hospital is not already signed up to receive an Opioid Prescribing Report, there’s still time! Contact Trish Anderson at TrishA@wsha.org for further details.