From April to December 2019, clinical leaders from nine hospitals in Cook County worked together to share best practices and apply quality improvement to better serve people with opioid use disorder in the first phase of the Alliance for Health Equity’s Hospital Opioid Treatment and Response Learning Collaborative.
“The largest impact this has made for me is bringing legitimacy to this issue in my department. It also provided a community to learn from which has been invaluable. It is encouraging to have all of our community hospitals meet and helps continue my motivation to work on these issues even when it feels impossible to make a difference in my own institution. We have made more progress than I ever thought possible and I am grateful for the advice and direction provided by the team and participants to help us navigate the common challenges we face by learning and sharing strategies.”
–Emergency Department physician, Hospital Opioid Treatment and Response Learning Collaborative
The goal of the learning collaborative was to bring hospital teams together to support and facilitate learning around best practices, implementation, and quality improvement as it relates to caring for people with opioid use disorder and/or those who are at risk for opioid overdose. Specifically, the learning collaborative aimed for participating hospitals to develop the infrastructure to support the initiation of medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) with linkage to care and naloxone prescribing/distribution throughout the nine-month collaborative.
The learning collaborative participants consisted of nine Alliance for Health Equity hospitals in Chicago and suburban Cook County. Three of the participating hospitals were awarded competitive demonstration site grants,
- Advocate Aurora Christ Medical Center
- Cook County Health
- Holy Cross Hospital*
- MacNeal Hospital
- Northwestern Memorial Hospital*
- Norwegian American Hospital
- UI Health*
- Roseland Community Hospital
- Rush University Medical Center
The nine-month learning collaborative included two leadership team meetings and four clinical team meetings. The leadership team meetings intended to introduce evidence-based opioid treatment and response and to gain organizational buy-in. The clinical team meetings focused on different topic areas and strategies to build capacity for the implementation of best practices. The learning collaborative sessions were organized by the Illinois Public Health Institute and facilitated in partnership with Dr. Elizabeth Salisbury-Afshar from the American Institutes for Research. The Chicago Department of Public Health and Cook County Department of Public Health were also lead partners in the learning collaborative.
Between April and December 2019, each hospital made substantial strides in MOUD initiation with linkage to care and naloxone dispensing. The learning collaborative provided the opportunity for hospitals to discuss their institutional barriers and brainstorm solutions based on previous experience.
A report detailing the accomplishments from the first phase of the Hospital Opioid Treatment and Response Learning Collaborative will be available in February 2020 on the Alliance for Health Equity website.
Thank you to the Otho S.A. Sprague Memorial Institute for its generous support of the Hospital Opioid Treatment and Response Learning Collaborative.