Kentucky hospitals join together to fight opioid epidemic

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 30, 2019) — The National Institute on Drug Abuse ranks Kentucky among the top 10 states with the highest opioid-related overdose deaths, and Kentucky’s hospitals are on the front line in the fight to help the state recover.

To assist the state’s hospitals in this battle, the Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA) is partnering with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services as part of the Kentucky Opioid Response Effort (KORE) to launch the Kentucky Statewide Opioid Stewardship (KY SOS) program.

Opioid stewardship involves a coordinated effort to reduce opioid-related harm by developing alternative means to manage pain and, when opioids are used, assuring that opioid prescribing and patient monitoring aligns with evidence-based guidelines. KY SOS will focus on reducing opioid overprescribing and improving safe opioid use by providing hospitals and health systems with education and resources on how to attain the highest level of performance on opioid stewardship.

Dr. Phillip Chang, chief medical officer at UK HealthCare, will chair an Advisory Committee to develop standards for the program.

The committee is comprised of clinical experts in emergency medicine, addictions treatment, pharmacy and nursing, along with hospital administration and a former patient. These experts, along with KHA staff, will assist the state’s hospitals with implementation and will gather data to track their progress. Additionally, this initiative will provide a voluntary certification opportunity for Kentucky hospitals to demonstrate their actions and commitments to their patients and communities in combating the state’s opioid epidemic.

So far, 72 hospitals have made a commitment to the program and more facilities continue to join their ranks.

“This is the first statewide program of its kind where all hospitals in Kentucky collaborate together to combat the opioid crisis at its root – inappropriate or excess opioid prescribing,” stated Chang. “We will leverage data, analytics and the spirit of healthy competition amongst Kentucky hospitals to reduce and eliminate opioid addiction while still ensuring adequate pain control. This preventive work will complement the tremendous efforts through our state on recovery, rehabilitation and harm reduction.”

“We at the Cabinet for Health and Families Services are incredibly gratified that KHA and Kentucky hospitals are taking a leadership role in solving one of the most destructive public health care crises in our commonwealth,” noted Dr. Allen J. Brenzel, medical director for the Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, which is overseeing the KORE program. “Promoting the appropriate prescribing of opioids is a critical prevention strategy that will decrease the number of individuals who are at risk of progressing to a life-threatening opioid use disorder. This initiative will most certainly save lives.”

KHA President Mike Rust stated, “Kentucky hospitals are committed to working toward improving opioid stewardship collectively, and ultimately reducing the risk of addiction for their patients. KHA is proud to support the hospitals as they continue to provide high quality health care and further demonstrate their dedication to the communities they serve.”

About the Kentucky Hospital Association: KHA was established in 1929. The association, headquartered in Louisville, represents hospitals, related health care organizations and integrated health care systems dedicated to sustaining and improving the health status of the citizens of Kentucky.

Kentucky Statewide Opioid Stewardship hospitals as of May 13, 2019

ARH Our Lady of the Way Hospital
Baptist Health Corbin
Baptist Health La Grange
Baptist Health Lexington
Baptist Health Louisville
Baptist Health Madisonville
Baptist Health Paducah
Baptist Health Richmond
Barbourville ARH Hospital
Bluegrass Community Hospital
Bourbon Community Hospital
Breckinridge Memorial Hospital
Carroll County Memorial Hospital
Eastern State Hospital
Ephraim McDowell Fort Logan Hospital
Ephraim McDowell James B Haggin Hospital
Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center
Flaget Memorial Hospital
Frazier Rehabilitation Institute
Gateway Rehabilitation Hospital
Georgetown Community Hospital
Hardin Memorial Health
Harlan ARH Hospital
Harrison Memorial Hospital
Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center
Highlands Regional Medical Center
Jennie Stuart Medical Center
Jewish Hospital
Jewish Hospital – Shelbyville
King’s Daughters Medical Center
Manchester Memorial Hospital
Marcum and Wallace Memorial Hospital
Mary Breckinridge ARH Hospital
McDowell ARH Hospital
Methodist Hospital
Methodist Hospital Union County
Middlesboro ARH Hospital
Morgan County ARH Hospital
Norton Hospital
Ohio County Hospital
Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital
Our Lady of Peace Hospital
Owensboro Health Muhlenberg Community Hospital
Owensboro Health Regional Hospital
Paul B Hall Regional Medical Center
Ridge Behavioral Health System
Robley Rex VA Medical Center
Russell County Hospital
Saint Joseph East
Saint Joseph Mount Sterling
St. Claire Regional Medical Center
St. Elizabeth Edgewood
St. Elizabeth Florence
St. Elizabeth Fort Thomas
St. Elizabeth Grant
St. Elizabeth Owen
Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital
SUN Behavioral Health
Taylor Regional Hospital
The Medical Center at Albany
The Medical Center at Bowling Green
The Medical Center at Caverna
The Medical Center at Franklin
The Medical Center at Scottsville
TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital
Tug Valley ARH Regional Medical Center
Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center
UK Chandler Medical Center
UK HealthCare Good Samaritan Hospital
University of Louisville Hospital
Wayne County Hospital Inc
Whitesburg ARH Hospital

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