HAP’s Achievement Award Spotlight: Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health
July 03, 2019
Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health was awarded HAP’s Community Champions 2019 Achievement Award for Aligning Efforts to Fight the Opioid Crisis—a multi-stakeholder, collaborative initiative to reduce the number of deaths from heroin and opioid overdoses in Lancaster County.
Using the collective impact model, the collaborative effort, called The Coalition, engaged stakeholders within the health system and the community to assess needs and develop and implement strategies, including:
- A website hub for information, resources, and other materials
- A multimedia campaign to raise awareness of the issue and website resources
- Warm handoffs in the emergency department to connect patients with substance abuse disorder (SUD) with help
- A door-to-door project to connect prisoners with SUD to treatment
- School-based opioid use prevention programs for more than 7,500 students
- Expanded naloxone access, to help increase the total reported uses of naloxone by 27 percent (2017 to 2018)
- Education about safe opioid prescribing practices for nearly 1,500 physicians, dentists, and advanced practice professionals and expanded use of safe prescribing guidelines throughout the health system
As a result of these coordinated, multi-pronged strategies, the number of overdose deaths in Lancaster County declined 35.7 percent, from 168 deaths during 2017 to 108 deaths during 2018. Physician education, combined with the introduction of the Pennsylvania Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, have reduced overall opioid prescriptions and the number of patients receiving high doses of opioid therapy.
This award-winning collaborative was invited to present their work to the Governor’s Opioid Command Center in Harrisburg, so that the center could identify strategies, tactics, and lessons learned that might be useful in other counties. Learn more about this successful program at HAP’s website.
This video highlights the Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health and other HAP 2019 Achievement Award winners. Questions about the HAP Achievement Awards may be directed to HAP Member Services at (717) 561-5359.