Last year, Florida's hospitals treated nearly 18,000 emergency department patients who overdosed on opioid-related drugs. Of those patients, 10 percent were being treated for overdosing a second time or more. While emergency departments provide the very best immediate care, drug treatment and rehabilitation programs provide the best long-term solution.
Today, we joined the Florida Alcohol & Drug Abuse Association (FADAA), Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, Congressman Gus Bilirakis and Senator Bill Nelson to launch a new initiative that will strengthen connections between hospitals and community-based behavioral health programs.
Thanks to grant funding from Aetna, FHA and FADAA members will work together on "All in for Florida: The Emergency Room Intervention Project" to ensure patients are safely discharged into a treatment program best suited to serve their individual needs. Using data and real-time feedback to identify and share best practices, our efforts will provide opioid abusers with access to treatment services at a time when there is the greatest opportunity to intervene and address their addiction.
The project's first phase, scheduled to begin next month, will focus on gathering hospital data such as substance abuse admission rates, treatment patterns, discharge and referral services.
During phase two of the project, participating hospitals will be matched with community-based organizations to establish warm hand off protocols and care transitions.
FHA staff will provide education and support for hospital teams, partnering community-based organizations, emergency medical service providers and law enforcement.
Details on the "All in for Florida Project: ER Intervention Project" will be forthcoming soon. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions at (850) 222-9800.
Thank you for your support.