LO68: Kelowna emergency department buprenorphine/naloxone for opioid use disorder: a program evaluation study
CJEM: Canadian Journal of Emergency Medical Care
Emergency department (ED) buprenorphine/naloxone inductions for opioid use disorder are an effective and safe way to initiate addictions care in the ED. Kelowna General Hospital's ED buprenorphine/naloxone (KEDSS) program was implemented in September 2018 in order to respond to a community need for accessible and evidence-based addictions care. The objective of our program evaluation study was to examine the implementation of the first five months of the KEDSS program through evaluating patient
... evaluating patient characteristics and service outcomes. Methods: The KEDSS treatment pathway consists of a standardized protocol (pre-printed order set) to facilitate buprenorphine/naloxone induction and stabilization in the acute care setting (ED and inpatient wards) at Kelowna General Hospital, a community academic hospital. All patients referred to the outpatient addictions clinic via the order set during September 2018-January 2019 (the first 5 months) were included in the study population. A retrospective descriptive chart review was completed. Outcome measures included population characteristics (sociodemographic information, clinical characteristics) and service outcomes (number of patients initiated, patient follow-up). Descriptive statistics and bivariate analyses using t-tests or Pearson's χ2 statistic, as appropriate, were conducted to compare the ED-initiated group with the inpatient-initiated group. Results: During the first five months of the KEDSS program, a total of 35 patients (26% female, mean age 36.6 years, 54% homeless) were started on the treatment pathway, 16 (46%) in the ED. Compared to the inpatient-initiated group, the ED-initiated group were less likely to have psychiatric comorbidities (ED 1.0 vs. inpatient 1.5, p = 0.002), require methadone or sustained-release oral morphine (ED 13% vs. inpatient 37%, p = 0.048), and have attended follow-up (ED 56% vs. inpatient 84%, p = 0.004). Conclusion: This study provides a preliminary look at a new opioid agonist therapy (OAT) treatment pathway (KEDSS) at Kelowna General Hospital, and provides insight into the population that is accessing the program. We found that the majority of patients who are started on buprenorphine/naloxone in the ED are seen in follow-up at the addictions clinic. Future work will examine ongoing follow-up and OAT adherence rates in the study population to quantify the program's impact on improving access to addictions treatment within this community hospital setting.