Community sees real results
The entire community is seeing results. When the program started, pain was the number one reason patients visited the emergency room. Today, it’s not even in the top 20.
“When we prescribe fewer narcotics, we see fewer people in treatment, fewer people in our jails and fewer overdose deaths,” said Devine.
Lee Boyles, the hospital’s CEO and president, credits the community’s collaboration for the program’s success. “We all own a little bit of this problem, and we knew we couldn’t solve it alone,” he said.
Broadening the impact
As communities across the country search for remedies to the opioid crisis, this community in Greater Minnesota has a model that’s working. Its success has been so notable that the team was invited by Congressman Rick Nolan to provide a congressional briefing in Washington, D.C.
The team expected just a few people to attend, but the briefing room was full of congressional staff representing communities across the country.
Nolan said it was the team’s solution to the opioid issue that attracted so much attention. “Finally someone wasn’t just saying, ‘Hey, we’ve got a really serious problem here!’” he said. “They had a model that worked.”
Turning the tide on the opioid epidemic
The hospital’s team is funded by a grant through April 2017. As the hospital looks for new funding, it also wants to share its success with other communities – but the program can’t be expanded without funding. It’s time for a statewide solution to Minnesota’s opioid crisis.