Grant Application

Scott Freeman, MD, UPMC Presbyterian-Montefiore, UPMC Shadyside

Proposed Innovation

The opioid epidemic continues to ravage the United States. Overdose deaths doubled between 2010 and 2016, killing an average of 115 Americans every day in 2016. Those startling numbers prompted by the CDC to recommend a multi-pronged approach to combat this deadly scourge, including harm reduction efforts aimed at increasing distribution of naloxone — the opioid overdose antidote. At UPMC Presbyterian-Montefiore, a multidisciplinary pilot workgroup responded by distributing 250 naloxone rescue kits to hospitalized high-risk patients on the internal medicine and trauma surgery units during 2017.

This project seeks to expand the existing “Meds-to-Beds” program at UPMC Presbyterian while starting a similar program at UPMC Shadyside.

Improvements in Action

Hospitalized patients identified as being at risk of opioid overdose are provided take-home naloxone kits prior to discharge. This “Meds-to-Beds” approach gets the kits into more hands because they are physically delivered directly to patients rather than requiring them to use a prescription to obtain the kits. The funds will be used to improve the program’s workflow, data collection, and educational efforts at both UPMC Presbyterian and UPMC Shadyside.

Intended Outcomes

Expanding the distribution of take-home naloxone kits to hospitalized, at-risk patients is expected to save more lives and improve the quality of care delivered. This intervention program also will serve as a model of innovative care delivery that other health care systems can emulate.