(As appeared in HCA Today Blog)
To help combat the nation’s opioid crisis, HCA Healthcare is proud to join the National Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic.
Jonathan Perlin, MD, president of clinical services and chief medical officer at HCA, will serve as co-chair on the collaborative effort that includes more than 35 organizations representing federal, state, and local governments, nonprofits, academia and more.
Additionally, as part of HCA’s 50th anniversary, we are donating $500,000 to the partnership to fight against the opioid crisis.
HCA’s top doctor says our organization’s size and scale – 178 hospitals and 1,800 sites of care – and a 50-year tradition of providing patient centered care allows us to identify trends and make improvements to care practices that positively impact more lives.
“With the privilege of 30 million patient care episodes annually, HCA Healthcare brings broad clinical insight and commits support to the National Academy of Medicine’s critical work to galvanize the public and private sectors in effectively combating the root causes of the opioid epidemic,” said Perlin, who was elected as a member of NAM, one of the highest honors in health and science, in 2015.
Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 70,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016 and more than half of those deaths were caused by opioids.
As one of the nation’s leading providers of health and care, HCA continues to set national standards in patient safety including initiatives like its Enhanced Surgical Recovery Program, which helps patients focus on maximizing their function after surgery, rather than pain management.
HCA’s alternative pain management strategies range from providing non-opioid medications like affiliate Swedish Medical Center’s ALTO, or alternative to opioids program, to complementary approaches like healing touch.
The program has already proven to provide better outcomes for patients, including spending less time on ventilators, developing a lower risk for hospital-acquired infections, and, most importantly, reducing the overall use of opioids in HCA-affiliate hospitals.
Visit here for more information on the NAM Action Collaborative.