Battling Opioid Abuse
HospitalCommitment-1-ColumnAd-Website.jpgCommit to Addressing Prescription Opioid Management  and Substance Abuse Disorder 
Following the establishment of consistent guidelines for prescribing in emergency departments, the IHA Board of Directors asks all member hospitals and health systems to engage in the following five priority ar​eas with respect to addressing prescription opioid management and substance abuse disorder. These priority areas are not meant to represent an exclusive list of activities, but rather to accelerate our combined statewide progress in these key areas.

1.   Adopt Opioid Prescribing Guidelin​​​es :

Our hospital/health system will adopt IHA's guidelines for prescribing in (1) the emer​​gency de​partment​; and (2) in other acu​te settings​. These guidelines were developed in collaboration with the Indiana State Medical Association and other stakeholders and are intended to develop a general standard of practice for providers within a hospital setting or hospital-owned or affiliated clinic or physician practice. These guidelines are not intended to take the place of clinician judgement, which should always be utilized to provide the most appropriate care to meet the unique needs of each patient.​

​2.   Accelerate P​​rescriber Education:

Our hospital/health system and our clinical leaders will support and promote opportunities for prescriber education in the area of opioid management. These may include online courses developed by the Indiana State Medical Association or other continuing medical education.

3.   Increase Community En​g​​agement:

Given the essential role that hospitals play in the overall health care system, our hospital/health system will partner with community groups to help preve​​nt substance abuse through activities such as education, drug take back programs, etc. We will also join with community groups, local law enforcement, elected officials and others to expand available treatment options and better connect those with substance abuse disorder to such treatment.

4.   Review Prescr​​​ibing Patterns:

Our hospital/health system and our clinical leaders will, along with IHA and the state INSPECT program, work to develop a system for proactively reviewing patterns of all prescribers affiliated with our facilities. We will also work to integrate the INSPECT program into our electronic health record so healthcare professionals can review patients' controlled-substance prescription history more quickly and efficiently.

5. Review Safe Handling Procedu​​res:

Given the increase in toxic substances associated with opioid abuse such as fentanyl and carfentanil encountered by first responders and others, our hospital/health system will review internal policies and safe handling procedures. Given that these substances are dangerous in extremely small quantities and harm can occur through ingestion, inhalation, or absorption, we will work to maximize the safety of our employees and patients. O​ur hospital/health system will also review policies and procedures related to drug diversion and the disposal of hazardous substances. ​

Thank you for demonstrating your hospital's commitment to addressing each of these priority areas. ​​​​

​​​IHA will monitor the progress of our collective efforts on these priority ar​​​​eas to keep members informed and continue to provide updated resources and best practices.​​