While frontline providers have their hands full with COVID-19, overdose deaths are surging across the country. Some experts argue now is the perfect time to implement needed reforms in care for patients with opioid use disorder. In particular, they say it is time to fully leverage emergency departments in the quest to initiate these patients on treatment and connect them with ongoing care.
While some state hospital associations are leveraging their collective power to reassure patients that accessing needed care is important and safe, there are steps individual hospitals and emergency departments can take, too.
While COVID-19 continues surging in many regions, emergency departments across the country are confronting another significant problem: plummeting patient volumes. Many people with time-sensitive conditions such as stroke and heart attack are delaying or avoiding care, a reality that is leading to tragic results.