WSHA is collaborating with key partners to increase opioid stewardship in Washington, Alaska and Oregon, with a goal of improving opioid prescribing practices, preventing future opioid dependence, reducing overdoses and increasing access to treatment. This will be accomplished through provider education, community partnerships, leveraging prescriber data to drive change and policy recommendations.
Key activities underway include:
- Enrolling providers to receive opioid prescribing feedback reports, in partnership with the Washington State Medical Association. By leveraging the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database to generate peer benchmarks on acute, chronic, high dose and co-prescribing of sedatives, compliance with CDC and Bree Collaborative guidelines is increasing.
- Alerting providers of fatal and non-fatal overdose events using the Collective Medical platform EDIE. Real-time notifications to providers and case managers trigger outreach to patients in need of opioid use disorder treatment and prevent new opioid prescriptions for vulnerable patients. The pilot is live in several Accountable Communities of Health and will be scaled statewide in Washington.
- WSHA is supportive of Emergency Departments prescribing and dispensing naloxone (opioid overdose rescue medication). Several hospitals are dispensing take-home naloxone kits.
- Aligned with the American College of Emergency Physicians, WSHA is assisting Emergency Departments to initiate medication-assisted therapy (MAT) for patients with opioid use disorder. Protocols are being adopted to include screening for opioid use disorder, initiation of MAT, and rapid referral to ongoing community-based treatment.
- While several commercial pharmacies participate in drug takeback efforts, WSHA encourages hospitals to establish onsite takeback locations. Toolkits and resources are available upon request.