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July 31, 2018 (Cleveland)

Opioid Consortium Strategic Plan Focuses Hospital Efforts to Combat Crisis

Opioid Consortium Strategic PlanThe Northeast Ohio Hospital Opioid Consortium strategic plan launched this month, bringing together participating organizations around a focused effort to address the opioid crisis. The epidemic facing the region calls for a multi-pronged approach by a variety of organizations, from healthcare providers to first responders to law enforcement agencies and many others. The Opioid Consortium strategic plan creates the opportunity for participating healthcare organizations to leverage and contribute their resources to activities that combat this epidemic.

The Opioid Consortium is a joint effort of University Hospitals, Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth System, Northeast Ohio VA Healthcare System, St. Vincent Charity Hospital, The Center for Health Affairs, and The Academy of Medicine of Cleveland & Northern Ohio.

“Under the new strategic plan, the hospitals, along with The Center and The Academy, are coming together in a collaborative way to utilize their expertise in support of patients by both treating the disease of opioid addiction and working to prevent its spread,” said Randy Jernejcic, MD, the Consortium’s physician chair and vice president of Clinical Integration, University Hospitals. 

The new strategic plan organizes the work of the Opioid Consortium into seven areas: communication, education and patient management, harm reduction, treatment, prevention, data, and public policy. Goals include:

  • Creating educational programs and resources for nurses and frontline staff, patients and the public, and high-level providers such as primary care physicians, advance practice registered nurses and physician assistants.
  • Increasing access to and the use of nasal Narcan.
  • Expanding access to a variety of patient care resources, including medication-assisted treatment, addiction consultation services, and opioid treatment programs.
  • Improving prescribing and pain management practices within and among providers.
  • Developing a data set to measure impact and improve outcomes. 
Already, the organization has made progress in a number of areas. Some of these include the following:
  • Regarding nurse and frontline staff education, a review of existing educational practices and resources has been conducted and the development of a standardized curriculum is in progress.
  • Educational activities are being provided to help prescribers fully incorporate state and federal opioid prescribing guidelines. Additionally, a review and implementation of Ohio State Medical Board and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for acute and chronic pain management is underway to ensure hospitals are utilizing internal controls to monitor compliance.
  • Opioid Consortium members are working to develop and disseminate educational resources that can be distributed by staff to patients and families that include information about how to acquire and utilize nasal Narcan as well as treatment options for the disease of addiction.

“The strategic plan gives us a clear path forward and will enable Opioid Consortium member organizations to make a real, positive impact on the opioid crisis,” said Lisa Anderson, MSN, RN, senior vice president for Member Services at The Center for Health Affairs

The three-year plan, which will drive the work of the Opioid Consortium through 2020, also calls for efforts to influence public policy in ways that will make treatment more accessible to patients, improve reimbursement for providers, and prevent the spread of opioid addiction.

For more on the Opioid Consortium strategic plan, contact us.