HomeLatest NewsQuality NewsSDAHO Providing Support for Emergency Department Providers to Combat Opioid and Substance...

SDAHO Providing Support for Emergency Department Providers to Combat Opioid and Substance Abuse Challenges

Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and overdose is a life-threatening disease. For every death due to opioid drug overdose in South Dakota, there were two hospital admissions for opioid overdoses and related disorders. The emergency department (ED) is an ideal setting to improve patient outcomes and support patients transitions into recovery. The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) Quality and Integration team are supporting healthcare providers by offering the Emergency Department Provider Toolkit.

The ED toolkit is an interactive guide for providers and hospital administrators. It provides strategies to incorporate best practices for screening and diagnosis, referral to treatment, safe prescribing, and community resources in an ED setting. Its content was developed for ED providers with considerations for rural and urban hospitals. Also available, SDAHO’s Clinical Improvement Consultants to help providers navigate through the toolkit, with one-on-one training and office hours specific to helping members with the toolkit.

During the SDAHO 2022 Annual Convention, members of the Quality Integration team, hosted a special panel conversation on prescription addiction and the impact the ED toolkit is having on member facilities so far. The panel titled: Acute Linkage to Care: Managing the Opioid/Substance Use Disorder Challenges included special guest speakers: Dr. Melanie Weiss Vision of Hope who shared her own prescription drug addiction journey. Also on the panel, Karen Weber with Brookings Health System; Dr. Jennifer Ball with the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions and from the SDAHO Quality and Integration team, Clinical Improvement Consultants: Michelle Hofer, BSN, RN, CPHQ and Loretta Bryan, BSN, RN, CPHQ. “I knew it was trusted information and we would be incorporating evidence-based practices to provide valuable resources to our ED team. Although opioid overdose is low in our ED, we have a higher incidence of prescription med overdoses, and we knew the resources provided in the toolkit would be used to identify all of the substance abuse disorders including prescription drugs and alcohol.” Karen Weber, Brookings Health System

Karen said it can be challenging for the ED nurses as they interact with reoccurring patients and the toolkit now has new tools and resources that empowers them allowing them to provide referrals and intervene as needed. Dr. Melanie Weiss started abusing prescription drugs after undergoing three surgeries in a row and then became addicted to the pain meds. Dr. Weiss shared her story during the panel conversation that includes her challenges during her addiction that ended with incarceration and 6 felony counts. When asked if healthcare professionals ever asked any screening questions or tried to intervene when Dr. Weiss attempted to get unnecessary prescriptions, her reply, “Never. I was in Sioux Falls and ran out of medications, so I went to an urgent care and the doctor told me he could not prescribe me anything because I had just received a prescription. That is the only doctor who ever refused a prescription.” Dr. Melanie Weiss, Vision of Hope

The ED Toolkit now offers healthcare professionals the tools and resources they need to better evaluate patients. One resource included in the tool-kit is Decision Tree for Providers resource is information to assist providers on how to:

  1. Screen & Identify Patient Risk
  2. Diagnose
  3. Treat
  4. Educate and Prescribe

As an education tool to SDAHO members, the full recording of the recent panel conversation is can be viewed by clicking here.

To connect with SDAHO’s Quality and Integration team regarding training and upcoming office hours, visit us online.

To take a closer look at the ED Toolkit, click here.

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