WSHA is a committed partner in the Washington State Opioid Response Plan, and in collaboration with the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA). In partnership, we would like to share that the next phase of the Starts with One pharmacy program will commence in October. We invite you to participate in this opportunity to promote safe storage of prescription medications in your hospital community.
Pharmacists play a key leadership role in advising folks about preventing opioid misuse and how it can easily be done in their homes. By having conversations about safe storage and safe disposal, pharmacists and pharmacy staff can make a big difference in keeping people safe and communities healthy.
We would greatly appreciate your consideration to partake in this program as we continue to equip Washington residents with information and actionable ways to prevent opioid misuse in their homes and communities.
To register for the program, please visit www.getthefactsrx.com/pharmacy.
The Pharmacy Safe Storage Program is an initiative developed by the Washington State Health Care Authority to educate patients receiving opioid prescriptions about the importance of locking up their medications.
The program relies on the influence that pharmacists have and equips them with the tools they need to be able to ask patients who receive an opioid prescription if they have a way to lock it up. They then ask for their commitment or “pledge” to do so and offer a free locking bag if the patient needs a way to lock their meds up. This program has been informed by research around community-based social marketing and studies that show asking someone to make a commitment to do something increases their likelihood by half that they will follow through with the desired behavior.
Over the last two phases of the program, over 20 pharmacies have participated and almost 1,000 locking bags have been distributed to patients in various counties throughout Washington. In a recent follow up survey, over 95 percent of the participants who received a locking bag said they then used the bag to safely store their prescriptions.
As we restart the Pharmacy Safe Storage Program this October, the Washington State Health Care Authority is inviting pharmacies across the state to participate in this free initiative.
Those who participate will receive:
- A supply of free locking bags to provide to patients who receive opioid prescriptions
- Promotional materials including posters, informational rack cards, ready-to-use social media posts and pledge forms
- Promotion of your pharmacy’s involvement in the program with a localized press release and pitching effort to publications in your area
- An initial program training with the pharmacy manager and/or team
- Ongoing support to ensure a straightforward and smooth implementation of the program
All we ask is that pharmacies who participate commit to submitting weekly data. Weekly data allows us to keep track of the great work pharmacies are doing and accurately assess the impact of this project so that we can hopefully continue to expand the program. Submitting data comes in the form of a simple 5-minute survey, and you will receive a reminder email at the end of each week. (Tina Seery)