WSHA and the Washington State Medical Association have identified six promising strategies addressing overdose prevention, expanding access to treatment and improving opioid prescribing practices that hospitals and health systems can use to address the opioid crisis as part of their work with Accountable Communities of Health (ACHs).
- Overdose Prevention – Implementing protocols and policies in the ED and primary care setting for overdose education and take home naloxone for at-risk individuals;
- Expanding Access to Treatment – Initiating medication assisted treatment (MAT) in emergency departments and coordinating outpatient treatment for at-risk individuals;
- Integrating PMP Data into Clinical Workflows – Furthering utilization of the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) and integration of PMP data into EMR;
- Expanding Access to Treatment – Developing and implementing a tool kit to support providers in increasing the number of patients treated with MAT;
- Improving Opioid Prescribing Practices – Leveraging data and guidelines to support appropriate opioid prescribing practices; and
- Develop Low-Barrier Methadone and Buprenorphine Access – *under development.
We hope hospitals and health systems will discuss these strategies with their local ACHs and that ACHs will implement many of these approaches. We believe the impact will be stronger by having work aligned across regions.
Our state’s ACHs are being asked to submit applications by November to outline their strategies for transformation under the Healthier Washington demonstration, which includes work on the opioid crisis. As with other components of the ACH work, we fully expect these strategies to evolve and become more tightly calibrated over time. (Ian Corbridge)