The Hospital’s Critical Role in Battling the Opioid Epidemic
At the front lines of treatment and prevention, hospitals continue to play a big role in addressing and reversing the opioid crisis. Hospitals are trying to keep up with a slew of new guidelines and legislation, like the SUPPORT Act that encourages hospitals to identify alternative pain management techniques in the emergency room. In addition, hospitals and health systems are themselves taking a second look at prescribing patterns of physicians across departments, and implementing dosage guidelines alongside new screening procedures and payment models that encourage evidence-based treatments and ongoing care. New technology can now better track opioid prescriptions, and promising research in predictive analytics and artificial intelligence may soon be able to better predict which patients are most at risk for becoming addicted. Hospitals also have the unique ability to innovate and scale successful programs, and reach beyond their walls to collaborate on solutions and track the problem in their communities.