J Hosp Med. 2021 Jun;16(6):345-348. doi: 10.12788/jhm.3591.
Despite evidence that medications for patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) reduce mortality and improve engagement in outpatient addiction treatment, these life-saving medications are underutilized in the hospital setting. This study reports the outcomes of the B-Team (Buprenorphine-Team), a hospitalist-led interprofessional program created to identify hospitalized patients with OUD, initiate buprenorphine in the inpatient setting, and provide bridge prescription and access to outpatient treatment programs. During the first 2 years of the program, the B-Team administered buprenorphine therapy to 132 patients in the inpatient setting; 110 (83%) of these patients were bridged to an outpatient program. Of these patients, 65 patients (59%) were seen at their first outpatient appointment; 42 (38%) attended at least one subsequent appointment 1 to 3 months after discharge from the hospital; 29 (26%) attended at least one subsequent appointment between 3 and 6 months after discharge; and 24 (22%) attended at least one subsequent appointment after 6 months. This model is potentially replicable at other hospitals because it does not require dedicated addiction medicine expertise.