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Opioid Safety and Interventions

The opioid crisis is impacting communities and families across the country daily. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly a half a million people died from an overdose involving either prescription or illicit opioids between 1999 and 2019. This epidemic is a continual challenge in each of the six states that Comagine Health serves.

To help respond to this crisis, Comagine Health has designed a set of tools and resources for providers. We can provide you with best practices that will help facilitate referrals and reduce stigma associated with opioid use, leading to effective pathways to treatment.

Our work aims to:

  • Support patients and families by improving treatment options throughout the health care system.
  • Expand on existing efforts and best practices already being implemented in communities.

Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) Training

Comagine Health is launching a new learning series on clinical and systems support best practices for MOUD programs in primary care settings. The purpose of this series is to develop or expand MOUD treatment services in primary care settings. The series is led by Mandy Sladky, RN, MSN, CARN. Mandy’s areas of expertise include engaging internal and external stakeholders to deliver overdose prevention and substance use disorder healthcare program administration. 

We welcome any providers who work in outpatient settings and want to provide more effective treatment for patients with opioid use disorder to join us for this series.

MOUD Resources

Six Building Blocks

Six Building Blocks is an evidence-based quality improvement roadmap that helps primary care teams implement effective, guideline-driven care for their chronic pain and long-term opioid therapy patients.

The program focuses on six key areas:

  • Leadership and consensus
  • Policies, patient agreements and workflows
  • Tracking and monitoring patient care
  • Planned, patient-centered visits
  • Caring for patients with complex needs
  • Measuring success

Six Building Blocks can help anyone who is interested in improving the care of patients using long-term opioid therapy, such as:

  • Quality improvement personnel
  • Clinicians and staff
  • Clinic administrators
  • Practice facilitators

Learn more about the Six Building Blocks program and access a variety of resources and materials at the program page.

Six Building Blocks Overdose Data to Action Learning Series

Overdose Data to Action Program Resources

The Comagine Health Six Building Blocks team is offering a ten-part series of monthly, hourlong peer-to-peer learning webinars focusing on strategies that community-based organizations can use to prevent overdoses among the populations they serve. These sessions are supported by an Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to the Washington State Department of Health.

Each webinar focuses on a topic and includes a facilitated discussion with a panel of experts. In small and large groups, participants share knowledge, ideas and approaches from their organizations and states.

View past OD2A sessions on YouTube and register for future sessions.

Emergency Department (ED) ECHO™ Series

Comagine Health is working with emergency department providers to hold a series of monthly, hourlong ECHO™ sessions focusing on the management of opioid use disorder (OUD) in the emergency department. The series are led by Dr. Alexis LaPietra, a board-certified emergency room physician at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey. Dr. LaPietra has spearheaded major changes in management of OUD and pain treatment in the nation’s second busiest emergency room. 

Please note that this series is intended only for hospital emergency department staff.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) Training

The PDMP is an essential tool in fighting the opioid epidemic, and helping providers use it effectively is an important part of our work. Comagine Health is actively engaging with each PDMP program in our six-state region to incorporate state-specific, customized training into our MOUD trainings and ED ECHO™ Series. Our work focuses on practical use of the PDMP and ways to take it to the next level by using it for safety and good clinical care.

Pharmacy Engagement

The price of naloxone at pharmacies continues to be a barrier and consumers may not understand that carrying naloxone could save their lives, and that there are simple ways to access free naloxone. Comagine Health has initiated a project to link community agencies that provide free naloxone to assist pharmacists in initiating conversations with patients about access to free naloxone. The goal of this project is to provide information about obtaining free naloxone, and to educate patients about opioid risks. This project aims to destigmatize naloxone access and use while normalizing conversations with consumers and promoting pharmacy measures that reduce fatal and nonfatal overdoses. Comagine Health developed various resources for pharmacies. Pharmacies will be able to choose from which intervention they feel would be most helpful.

Surgical Resources and Academic Detailing

Comagine Health is also creating opioid surgical resources such as the Opioid Stewardship for Surgical Groups Guide. We are using a data-driven approach to share these resources with the surgical groups with the highest need.

Engage Local Health Districts, Primary Care Associations (FQHCs) and Rural Community Centers

The opioid crisis is having a significant impact on rural communities. To help address this, Comagine Health is supporting targeted naloxone distribution through rural health districts, acting as a liaison between community centers and the source of the naloxone (health districts).