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Ted Shaw Blog
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Texas Hospitals Commit to Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

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From opioid overdose treatments in the emergency department to treating complications of opioid use disorders in inpatient settings, Texas hospitals see the ravages of the state’s growing opioid epidemic each day.

In 2016, opioids accounted for nearly 70 percent of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. and were responsible for the deaths of almost 3,000 Texans.

Hospitals are taking a proactive leadership role to address the state’s opioid problem by employing a multi-faceted approach that attacks the issue from all angles.

One way is through implementation of the Texas Hospital Association’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.

Another is using THA Smart Ribbon to help physicians manage pain in inpatient settings while guarding against and preventing future opioid addiction.

Hospitals also are working to reduce preventable maternal mortality and morbidity as part of Texas AIM. Because opioids are responsible for the majority of drug-related deaths among postpartum women, THA is leading a 10-hospital pilot program to improve obstetric care for women with opioid use disorder. A statewide opioid-focused project will launch by 2020.

I encourage you to read more about all of these efforts in THA’s educational whitepaper that describes Texas hospitals’ dedicated efforts to combat opioid use and abuse across Texas communities.

While fully eliminating the state’s opioid problem will require the attention and engagement of a wide array of stakeholders, including physicians, insurers, drug manufacturers, pharmacies and employers. Texas hospitals look forward to both continuing their independent efforts and working with others in the health care industry and beyond to make a meaningful impact on opioid-related outcomes across the state.

Additional information is available from www.tha.org/opioids.

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