Role of Hospitals in Opioid Epidemic Featured at Summit Panel

emergency room sign

The 7th annual Healthcare of Tomorrow summit took place earlier this month, sponsored by U.S. News & World Report. The goal of this annual event is to bring together leaders from the healthcare industry, policymakers, consumers, and other experts to ” exchange ideas, share best practices, and set new standards for patient care.” Recognizing the role of healthcare providers and hospitals as the first line in the opioid epidemic, the 2019 summit agenda included an expert panel addressing how hospitals have responded to this public health crisis. Panel members included Dr. Alicia Jacobs of the University of Vermont Medical Center; Dr. Christopher Freer of Saint Barnabas Medical Center; Dr. Halena Gazelka of Mayo Clinic; and Dr. Jay Bhatt of the American Hospital Association.

Dr. Jacobs spoke about the use of patient-centered medical homes to provide team-based care for the prevention and treatment of addiction. These robust multidisciplinary primary care centers are in line with the work of Vermont’s Opioid Hub and Spoke system (nine regional Hubs and 75 local Spokes) to support people who are recovering from opioid addiction. This system has increased the reach of opioid services across the state.

Dr. Freer, chairman of the Saint Barnabas Medical Center Emergency Department and co-chair of the RWJBarnabas Health Tackling Addiction Task Force, shared how the RWJBarnabas Health facilities instituted peer recovery specialist programs into their emergency departments to help patients with substance use disorders. They are now adding the services to the inpatient departments based on the positive feedback received from patients and staff.

Another effort highlighted during the panel was the work of the Mayo Clinic in developing its own recommendations for acute and chronic pain prescriptions based on guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other leading health agencies. The event hub website features session recaps, photos, and video highlights from the summit. CSIP continues to monitor efforts and events that bring together knowledge and resources to keep families safe from overuse of opioids and other unsafe medication practices.

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About the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP)

The Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP), a non-profit organization founded in 2011 by the White House, represents the technology sector and commerce intermediaries including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Oath, UPS, PayPal, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and .Health. CSIP’s mission is to promote industry best practices as it relates to illegal online pharmacies, and educating consumers about safe purchasing of prescription drugs.