Centura Health will be the largest health care system in Colorado to implement the Alternative to opioid (ALTO) program began Dec. 1, throughout the emergency departments, urgent care centers and free-standing emergency clinics.
“Nationally the overprescribing of opioids has resulted in thousands of Americans being treated in emergency rooms each week for not using these medications as directed or intended. This is a national and local crisis as our communities are being overwhelmed by the impact of opioid use disorder and the deaths and illness that accompany this disease.” explains Mary Beth Savory, Centura Health opioid coordinator. “This program illustrates our commitment to finding solutions while providing whole person care to each community we serve.”
The Colorado Hospital Association, in coordination with the Colorado American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), has developed and piloted the ALTO program, which resulted in a 36 percent reduction in opioid utilization in 10 Colorado emergency departments.
Centura Health caregivers will utilize the ACEP Opioid Prescribing Guidelines to decrease the number of opioids ordered for patients with defined pain management needs. ALTO-trained providers and staff will facilitate the education for the patient care teams working at each site. Subsequent focus areas will be in our Centura Health provider network (including primary care), inpatient and specialty care settings.
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