Texas Hospitals Commit to Addressing Opioid Epidemic

Texas Hospital Association Distributes New Education Resource

(AUSTIN, Texas – Dec. 3, 2018) Demonstrating the numerous ways Texas hospitals are working to proactively address the opioid epidemic, the Texas Hospital Association released a new whitepaper describing various tools and resources Texas hospitals are using to reduce opioid use and abuse. The whitepaper describes Texas hospitals' multi-faceted approach-from investing in strategic initiatives to educating the public and health care providers-to reducing opioid use and abuse from the emergency department to the inpatient setting.

"Recognizing their trusted role as public health advocates, Texas hospitals have taken a leadership role to reduce statewide opioid use and abuse," said Ted Shaw, THA president/CEO. "While eliminating opioid abuse will require the commitment of numerous stakeholders, including physicians, insurers, pharmaceutical companies and employers, THA has worked closely with our member hospitals to ensure they have the tools and resources they need to provide essential health care services and reduce opioid-related overdoses and deaths in their communities."

Although only a fraction of opioid prescriptions nationally are written for patients receiving care from hospital emergency departments, they account for approximately 45 percent of opioids diverted for non-medical use, according to the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Texas hospitals limit medically unwarranted opioid prescriptions in hospital emergency departments by implementing THA's voluntary opioid prescribing guidelines and working with endorsed partner, Collective Medical Technologies, to quickly identify patients potentially using the ER for inappropriate opioid prescriptions. Texas hospitals also are implementing THA Smart Ribbon to help physicians manage post-surgical or chronic pain while guarding against opioid addiction in the inpatient setting.

A study of postpartum maternal deaths in Texas found that drug overdose was the leading cause of death in postpartum Texas women from 2012-2015, and opioids were involved in 58 percent of those deaths. In partnership with the Texas Department of State Health Services, THA is leading a pilot program with 10 Texas hospitals to implement best practices to improve obstetric care for women with an opioid use disorder, with a statewide opioid-focused initiative for inpatient and outpatient services launching in 2020.

Texas Hospitals' Commitment to Addressing the Opioid Crisis is available from www.tha.org/opioids.



Lance Lunsford, chief marketing officer
Email: llunsford@tha.org
Twitter: @lancelunsford

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About THA
Founded in 1930, the Texas Hospital Association is the leadership organization and principal advocate for the state’s hospitals and health care systems. Based in Austin, THA enhances its members’ abilities to improve accessibility, quality and cost-effectiveness of health care for all Texans. One of the largest hospital associations in the country, THA represents 452 of the state’s non-federal general and specialty hospitals and health care systems, which employ some 369,000 health care professionals statewide. Learn more about THA at www.tha.org or follow THA on Twitter at http://twitter.com/texashospitals.