Implementation of a comprehensive hospitalist-led initiative to improve care for patients with opioid use disorder

Link to article at PubMed

J Hosp Med. 2022 May 10. doi: 10.1002/jhm.12837. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: As opioid-related hospitalizations rise, hospitals must be prepared to evaluate and treat patients with opioid use disorder (OUD). We implemented a hospitalist-led program, Project Caring for patients with Opioid Misuse through Evidence-based Treatment (COMET) to address gaps in care for hospitalized patients with OUD.

OBJECTIVE: Implement evidence-based treatment for inpatients with OUD and refer to postdischarge care.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Project COMET launched in July 2019 at Duke University Hospital (DUH), an academic medical center in Durham, NC.

INTERVENTION, MAIN OUTCOMES, AND MEASURES: We engaged key stakeholders, performed a needs assessment, and secured health system funding. We developed protocols to standardize OUD treatment and employed a social worker to facilitate postdischarge care. Electronic health records were utilized for data analysis.

RESULTS: COMET evaluated 512 patients for OUD during their index hospitalization from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2021. Seventy-one percent of patients received medication for OUD (MOUD) during admission. Of those who received buprenorphine during admission, 64% received a discharge prescription. Of those who received methadone during admission, 83% of eligible patients were connected to a methadone clinic. Among all patients at DUH with OUD, MOUD use during hospitalization and at discharge increased in the post-COMET period compared to the pre-COMET period (p < .001 for both).

CONCLUSION: Our program is one of the first to demonstrate successful implementation of a hospitalist-led, comprehensive approach to caring for hospitalized patients with OUD and can serve as an example to other institutions seeking to implement life-saving, evidence-based treatment in this population.

PMID:35535562 | DOI:10.1002/jhm.12837

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