Implementation of an opioid detoxification management pathway reduces emergency department length of stay.
Acad Emerg Med. 2018 May 25;:
Authors: Bellew SD, Collins SP, Barrett TW, Russ SE, Jones ID, Slovis CM, Self WH
OBJECTIVES: With the rise of opioid use in the United States, the increasing demand for treatment for opioid use disorders presents both a challenge and an opportunity to develop new care pathways for ED patients seeking opioid detoxification. We set out to improve the care of patients presenting to our ED seeking opioid detoxification by implementing a standardized management pathway and to measure the effects of this intervention.
METHODS: We conducted a before-after study of the effects of an opioid detoxification management pathway on ED length of stay, use of resources (social worker consultation, laboratory tests obtained), and return visits to the same ED within 30 days of discharge. All data were collected retrospectively by review of the electronic health record.
RESULTS: Ultimately, 107 patients presented to the ED that met criteria, 52 in the intervention period and 55 in the pre-intervention period. Median ED length of stay in the intervention period was 152 (IQR 93-237) minutes compared to 312 (IQR 187-468) minutes in the pre-intervention period (p<0.001). Patients in the intervention period less frequently had a social work consultation (32.7% vs. 83.6%, p<0.001) or had laboratory tests obtained (32.7% vs 74.5%, p<0.001) and more frequently were prescribed a medication for withdrawal symptoms (57.7% vs. 29.1%, p=0.003).
CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of an opioid detoxification management pathway reduced ED length of stay, reduced utilization of resources, and increased the proportion of patients prescribed medications for symptom relief. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 29799649 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]