Physician Practice

Five strategies to improve opioid use disorder care

Medical Environment Update, March 27, 2020

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by Christopher Cheney

A report provides five system-level strategies with specific initiative examples for hospitals to improve prevention, identification, and treatment of opioid use disorder.

Hospitals are on the front line of the opioid epidemic. In 2016, the rate of opioid-related inpatient stays in hospitals increased to about 300 per 100,000 population—nearly double the 2008 rate, according to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. From 2008 to 2017, opioid-related emergency department visits more than doubled, according to AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.

The new report was released by two Boston-based healthcare organizations: the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center. The report says hospitals can play a key role in addressing the opioid epidemic.

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