CharterCARE Foundation, in collaboration with the Rhode Island Quality Institute (RIQI), is announcing the successful completion of a lifesaving initiative for people suffering from opioid use disorder.
CharterCARE Foundation funded RIQI’s work to integrate Care Management Dashboards (CMDs) into five RI Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs), linking them electronically with all major acute care hospitals in Rhode Island. The Dashboards provide immediate notification to the OTPs about their patients’ emergency department (ED) and hospital admissions and discharges in near real time. The OTPs now have the information they need to proactively engage in coordination of care and prevent their patients from “falling through the cracks” when the right hand of the delivery system doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.
CODAC Behavioral Healthcare’s Jessica Keefe, Nurse Practitioner, and Christine Atkin, Health Team Coordinator state, “For us, the use of Care Management Dashboard is truly lifesaving. That is without question. If we understand that a patient overdosed at the hospital last night and was subsequently discharged, we can then change our treatment as needed to keep this individual safe.”
The opioid crisis has reached epidemic proportions nationally, and the crisis in RI is following suit. According to preventoverdoseri.org, in 2017 in Rhode Island, the number of ED visits per month that were attributed to overdose ranged from 106 in March up to 171 in October. Overall, in 2017, there were a total of 233 deaths recorded as due to accidental drug overdose.
“With Care Management Alerts and Dashboards, we are able to inform the treatment center of the patient’s arrival within minutes (previously days or weeks) and intervene in their treatment protocols, with lifesaving results,” said Keefe and Atkin.
The OTP Care Management Alerts and Dashboard implementation project was made possible with a $50,000 grant from the North Providence-based CharterCARE Foundation. “While the number of individuals affected by the opioid crisis in RI is on the rise, we are encouraged by the impressive work of the Rhode Island Quality Institute, RI Department of Health and area hospitals in addressing this critical issue; and we are committed to assist in working together with these entities to help eradicate this problem,” said Paula Iacono, Executive Director of the Foundation.
Elaine Fontaine, Senior Director, Digital Products, Data & IT at RIQI remarked, “We are grateful to the CharterCARE Foundation for supporting our work of getting timely, actionable, and much needed information into the hands of those caring for people with opioid use disorder. By keeping all members of the care team informed about a patient’s status, we form a community of care around the patient, promoting the best outcomes for patients while simultaneously making the job of providers more satisfying.”