Hospitals and healthcare systems are critical partners in reversing the opioid epidemic. By educating providers and developing hospital and office-based protocols, patients can receive better relief from their pain with fewer opioids. With a decrease of opioid prescribing there will be a concomitant decrease in abuse, addiction, and overdose. With a decrease in these problems, there will be lower hospital costs and a healthier community.

Here are some ideas to reduce the opioids in your community (These will also improve outcomes and reduce costs). Click on the underlined words for supporting evidence:

  • Develop system-wide policies on prescribing to decrease outpatient opioid prescribing in the ER and outpatient clinics:
  • Develop inpatient​ protocols to reduce opioids and improve outcomes:
  • Train the mental health community in your area on how to reduce pain and improve quality of life for those living with pain.

See examples below for some examples of opioid sparing efforts.

Reduce the number of opioids used in your ED

Read here about how we worked with a healthcare organization in Washington to improve how they understood and treated pain and addiction:

Don and Martha Teater have extensive experience educating medical and mental health professionals on ways to reduce opioid use and abuse in health systems and communities.