As the opioid epidemic continues to sweep the United States, providers across Nebraska are facing the challenge of determining the appropriateness of pain treatment options that both meet the needs of the patients and fall within nationally published guidelines.
A recent report published by the National Safety Council stated that “for the first time on record, your odds of dying from an accidental opioid overdose are greater than dying in a motor vehicle crash.”1
Although the impact of the opioid epidemic remains moderate in Nebraska, we at the Nebraska Hospital Association (NHA) are committed to working on behalf of our member hospitals by staying ahead of the curve to prevent the increase of opioid dependency.
In 2018, the NHA formed an Opioid Steering Council, which included representatives from several organizations, including the Nebraska Medical Association, the Nebraska Pharmacists Association, Bryan College of Health Sciences, and the Department of Health and Human Services.
This Council met on a regular basis to gather relevant and useful information that could be used by hospitals and health-care providers alike.
From this collaborative work, we created an Opioid Toolkit that addresses the following issues:
Copies of this toolkit were delivered to all Nebraska hospitals, clinics, and to all area health education centers in the state. This helpful resource will be updated quarterly to ensure information is accurate and current with the most recent data available.
Health-care providers can find this Opioid Toolkit online at www.nebraskahospitals.org/-quality_and_-safety/addressing-the-opioid--epidemic.html.
If you suspect a family member, friend, or loved one is abusing and/or addicted to opioids, do not hesitate to contact your local hospital or clinic for help. Opioid abuse only can be solved only when we all get involved. ■
—Nebraska Hospital Association
1. National Safety Council: Odds of Dying. – Injury Facts. Available at https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/all-injuries/preventable-death-overview/odds-of-
dying/. Accessed March 127, 2019.