ARH system to collaborate with hospitals statewide to fight opioid epidemic

Published 11:16 am Friday, June 14, 2019

Appalachian Regional Healthcare system is joining forces with hospitals across the state to end opioid abuse in Kentucky.

To help 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. This initiative will provide a mechanism for hospitals to demonstrate their actions and commitments to their patients and communities to combat the state’s opioid epidemic.

KY SOS will focus on reducing opioid overprescribing and improving safe opioid use throughout the commonwealth. Additionally, this project will provide a voluntary certification opportunity for Kentucky hospitals that demonstrates their progress.

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As a member of KY SOS, ARH hospitals will receive:

• Resources and education on opioid stewardship;

• Access to clinical advisors and subject matter experts who can assist with improvement questions and provide recommendations;

• Access to the Kentucky Quality Counts data system to track progress on applicable measures;

• Support and coordination from KHA.

All of the Kentucky hospitals that are joining this partnership will:

• Work to improve patient safety in the area of opioid stewardship;

• Increase community outreach and education regarding pain management and safe opioid use;

• Commit to collaboration, alignment and coordination;

• Participate in site visits with the KY SOS Advisory Team.

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 our hospitals as they continue to provide high quality health care and further demonstrate their dedication to the communities they serve.”

“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,” said Joe Grossman, ARH President and CEO, who will serve as a member of the KY SOS committee. “We look forward to working with KHA and our colleagues throughout the commonwealth on this new initiative, which will bring outstanding resources to the areas ARH serves throughout Eastern Kentucky.”