48% of hospitals see patients with drug-seeking behavior daily, survey finds

Nearly two-thirds of hospitals have boosted investments in opioid medication management in the past twelve months, according to a recent survey of more than 90 Vizient member hospitals and health systems.

The survey was distributed through email to 4,688 chief nursing officers, chief quality officers, directors of pharmacies, physicians and executive, senior or vice presidents between July 10-July 31. 

Here are four survey findings to know:

1. The survey found 48 percent of respondents noted their facilities see patients demonstrating drug-seeking behavior multiple times in a given day.

2. Sixty-four percent of hospitals reported increasing their investment in opioid medication management in the last year.

3. Hospitals reported taking the following actions in the last year to address the opioid epidemic:

  • 78 percent increased prescriber education
  • 56 percent invested in new technologies to monitor prescriptions
  • 54 percent now use opioid alternative therapies for managing acute pain
  • 44 percent limited opioid prescriptions either by dosage or quantities
  • 43 percent added safe disposal units for old medications
  • 33 percent invested in opioid stewardship programs

4. Of these, respondents cited implementing dosage limits, hiring more staff and adding prescription monitoring technologies as the most effective initiatives for addressing the opioid epidemic.

More articles on opioids: 

Pennsylvania hospitals treat record 37K patients for opioid use disorder in 2017
2 Advocate hospitals give naloxone kits to overdose patients upon discharge
77% of surgical patients expect opioids, survey finds

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