Grant Application

Phoebe Haupert, MSN, RN, UPMC Susquehanna, Williamsport Regional Medical Center

Proposed Innovation

The opioid epidemic has swept across every community and social class throughout the country. In rural areas, those who experience a drug overdose are at increased risk of death due to  the distance of emergency medical services. Pennsylvania, which tallied 3,383 drug-related overdoses in 2015, led the nation in overdose deaths among males age 12 to 24. Locally, the UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport Regional Medical Center responds to 2 or 3 drug overdoses per day.

Through this project, UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport Regional Medical Center will provide 175 free naloxone rescue kits and family education to uninsured or underinsured patients identified as being at risk for opioid overdose.

Improvements in Action

A standardized process will be established to identify inpatients at risk for overdosing on opioids. Free naloxone nasal spray kits valued at $125 each will be dispensed prior to discharge by UPMC Susquehanna pharmacies to patients lacking insurance coverage. The pharmacists also will teach patients and families how to use the rescue kit.

Intended Outcomes

Assessments will be made of inpatients who receive naloxone rescue kits and education, and those who are later treated in a UPMC Susquehanna emergency department or admitted for an opioid overdose. In addition, pharmacy reports will be analyzed to identify how many patients received a kit free of charge. That information will be shared with insurance companies to reduce copays and to apply for community-based grants.