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How Hospitals Are Improving Care for Patients with Opioid Use Disorder

June 22, 2021

HAP’s Opioid Learning Action Network’s (LAN) Capstone Conference began Tuesday with a look back at two years of progress treating patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) and new approaches to care that are making a difference in patients’ lives.

During the past two years, HAP’s Opioid LAN has brought together the health care community to address the opioid epidemic, with a continued focus on pathways to evidence-based treatment and reducing overdose deaths. The three-day conference focuses on leveraging our collective expertise to fight the opioid crisis.

Through the LAN, Pennsylvania has made significant strides to address the stigma surrounding OUD, while updating screening practices and leveraging data to improve patient outcomes, said Jennifer Jordan, HAP’s vice president regulatory advocacy.

“We are stronger now than we were when we began the LAN and better positioned to continue this necessary work,” Jordan said.

The event featured a presentation from the Dell Medical School’s Buprenorphine Team in Austin, Texas. The multidisciplinary team discussed the shifting approaches to care for patients with OUD and the importance of building trust.

“Trust is critical to having effective care, not just in patients with OUD, but any patient I treat,” said Christopher Moriates, MD, assistant dean for health care value in the school’s Department of Medical Education.

Among the key takeaways from the panel discussion:

  • Acute care:  Hospitals are where people go for acute crises, and they should be empowered to address all the complex stages of OUD
  • A team approach:  Addressing OUD requires a diverse team creating bridges between a patient’s needs and the care they need. Clinicians across the care team should be empowered to seek consultations for patients
  • ‘Treat people, not problems’:  Patients’ life stories go beyond their clinical diagnosis. Building trust with patients begins with understanding their stories
  • Advocacy is part of care:  Identify community partners who can help address patient needs and the systemic challenges that contribute to OUD

The conference’s first day also featured a panel discussion with David Greenspan, MD, chair of department of psychiatry at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia; Brooke M. Feldman, MSW, president, Sparking Solutions, LLC; and John Hartnett, recovery service navigator, Stepping Stones at Meadville Medical Center. The trio discussed the complexities of OUD care and understanding patient behavior.

HAP’s Opioid LAN continues Wednesday and Thursday, with important sessions about chronic pain and OUD treatment during the pandemic, telehealth, upcoming policy priorities, and other critical topics facing the health care community.

For more information or questions about HAP’s Opioid LAN, contact Jennifer Jordan, HAP’s vice president, regulatory advocacy, or Daneen Schroder, HAP’s vice president, business development and member services.