GALLIPOLIS — Building on its commitment to promote responsible and appropriate prescribing of opioid pain medication, Holzer Health System is pleased to announce its adoption of the Ohio Emergency and Acute Care Facility Opioids and Other Controlled Substances (OOCS) Prescribing Guidelines in all Emergency and Urgent Care facilities.
Developed by the Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team’s Professional Education Workgroup, the Guidelines provide uniform guidance for the prescribing of opioids and other controlled substances where the treatment of pain does not benefit from an established and ongoing physician-patient relationship.
“Our Health System is doing its part to change opioid prescribing practices in Ohio in order to address the staggering epidemic of prescription drug addiction and overdose,” said Greg Mickunas, MD, Emergency Medicine Medical Director, Holzer Health System. “The adoption of these guidelines in our Emergency Department at our Medical Centers in Gallipolis and Jackson, as well as our Urgent Care locations in Gallipolis, Jackson, Pomeroy, and Athens communities, will assist clinicians in providing the best possible care while also tempering patient expectations of the services able to be provided in an emergency/acute care setting.”
In 2007, drug overdose became the leading cause of injury death in Ohio, surpassing motor vehicle crashes for the first time on record. This trend continued through 2010 when unintentional drug overdoses rose to their highest levels by claiming the lives of 1544 Ohioans. Prescription drug overdoses have largely driven this rise in deaths.
Hospital Emergency Departments (ED) are an important source of opioid prescriptions throughout the country. Of the 374,891 ED visits in the U.S. during 1993-2005, 42 percent of visits were related to pain and nearly one-third (29 percent) of patients received an opioid. Opioid prescribing for pain-related ED visits increased from 23 percent in 1993 to 37 percent in 2005. In Ohio, 16 percent of fatal overdose victims in 2008 had a history of “doctor shopping” (filled prescriptions from at least five different prescribers in a year).
Educating patients about the Guidelines is a critical part of this effort as well. Information will be given to patients and posted in the ED and Urgent Care waiting area to explain the Guidelines and address expectations about opioid prescribing in the emergency setting. The guidelines, corresponding patient education information and background information are available here: http://www.healthyohioprogram.org/ed/guidelines.aspx.
Holzer Health System is a multi-discipline health care system of over 160 Board Certified Physicians providing care in more than 30 areas of expertise in 15 clinical locations throughout southeastern Ohio and western West Virginia.
For a complete list of services, please call 1-855-4-HOLZER or visit us on the web at www.holzerclinic.com or www.holzer.org.