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Introduction: Morbidity and mortality from opioid overdoses continue to be a significant issue worldwide. In Alberta, there was a 40% increase in accidental opioid-related deaths from 2016 to 2017. In response to this crisis, Alberta Health Services has dramatically expanded access to Naloxone with a province-wide program for the distribution of take-home naloxone (THN) kits. Edmonton Zone ED's began dispensing these kits in 2016. The objectives of this study are to assess the trends in THN kit distribution from these sites in 2016 and 2017. Methods: The Edmonton Zone is a health region that comprises eleven tertiary, urban community and rural community ED's. THN kits in Edmonton Zone ED's were distributed through Pyxis, an automated medication dispensing and tracking system. Pyxis data for THN kits in 2016 and 2017 was extracted for each Edmonton Zone ED and the raw numbers and trends were examined. The National Ambulatory Care Reporting System database was also analyzed to determine the number of opioid related visits to Edmonton Zone ED's over that same time period. Results: A total of 686 THN kits in the Edmonton Zone were distributed over 2016 and 2017. The two tertiary centers distributed 502 kits, while the urban and rural community emergency departments collectively distributed 184 kits. Comparing 2016 (n = 245) to 2017 (n = 441), there was an 80% overall increase in the number of kits distributed, with tertiary center ED's dispensing 92% more kits, urban community ED's 51% more and rural ED's 63% more. Over the same time period, the number of opioid related visits increased in tertiary center ED's by 78%, in urban community sites by 26%, and in rural ED's by 67%. Almost all ED's increased their THN kit distribution from year to year, though there was one urban community site that dispensed fewer kits in the second year of the program. Conclusion: Edmonton Zone ED's dispensed 686 THN kits over two calendar years. Almost every ED distributed more kits in 2017 than 2016, which likely reflects successful uptake of this harm reduction intervention by frontline ED staff. However, there is still evidence of some imbalance in THN kit allocation as the percent increase in kits distributed varied widely based on the type of ED. This data can be used to pinpoint areas in the Edmonton Zone where barriers to THN access may still exist and guide continued quality improvement interventions to increase distribution and education.
Background: Buprenorphine/naloxone (bup/nal) is a partial opioid agonist/antagonist and recommended first line treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). Emergency departments (EDs) are a key point of contact with the healthcare system for patients living with OUD. Aim Statement: We implemented a multi-disciplinary quality improvement project to screen patients for OUD, initiate bup/nal for eligible individuals, and provide rapid next business day walk-in referrals to addiction clinics in the community. Measures & Design: From May to September 2018, our team worked with three ED sites and three addiction clinics to pilot the program. Implementation involved alignment with regulatory requirements, physician education, coordination with pharmacy to ensure in-ED medication access, and nurse education. The project is supported by a full-time project manager, data analyst, operations leaders, physician champions, provincial pharmacy, and the Emergency Strategic Clinical Network leadership team. For our pilot, our evaluation objective was to determine the degree to which our initiation and referral pathway was being utilized. We used administrative data to track the number of patients given bup/nal in ED, their demographics and whether they continued to fill bup/nal prescriptions 30 days after their ED visit. Addiction clinics reported both the number of patients referred to them and the number of patients attending their referral. Evaluation/Results: Administrative data shows 568 opioid-related visits to ED pilot sites during the pilot phase. Bup/nal was given to 60 unique patients in the ED during 66 unique visits. There were 32 (53%) male patients and 28 (47%) female patients. Median patient age was 34 (range: 21 to 79). ED visits where bup/nal was given had a median length of stay of 6 hours 57 minutes (IQR: 6 hours 20 minutes) and Canadian Triage Acuity Scores as follows: Level 1 – 1 (2%), Level 2 – 21 (32%), Level 3 – 32 (48%), Level 4 – 11 (17%), Level 5 – 1 (2%). 51 (77%) of these visits led to discharge. 24 (47%) discharged patients given bup/nal in ED continued to fill bup/nal prescriptions 30 days after their index ED visit. EDs also referred 37 patients with OUD to the 3 community clinics, and 16 of those individuals (43%) attended their first follow-up appointment. Discussion/Impact: Our pilot project demonstrates that with dedicated resources and broad institutional support, ED patients with OUD can be appropriately initiated on bup/nal and referred to community care.
The aim of this analysis was to test if changes in insomnia symptoms and global sleep quality are associated with coinciding changes in depressed mood among older adults. We report on results yielded from secondary analysis of longitudinal data from a clinical trial of older adults (N = 49) aged 55 to 80 years who reported at least moderate levels of sleep problems. All measures were collected at baseline and after the trial ten weeks later. We computed change scores for two separate measures of disturbed sleep, the Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS) and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and tested their association with change in depressed mood (Beck Depression Inventory-II; BDI-II) in two separate linear regression models adjusted for biological covariates related to sleep (sex, age, body mass index, and NF-κB as a biological marker previously correlated with insomnia and depression). Change in AIS scores was associated with change in BDI-II scores (β = 0.38, p < 0.01). Change in PSQI scores was not significantly associated with change in BDI-II scores (β = 0.17, p = 0.26). Our findings suggest that improvements over ten weeks in insomnia symptoms rather than global sleep quality coincide with improvement in depressed mood among older adults.
Introduction: Emergency department visits related to substance use are becoming more serious and increasingly costly in Canada. Emergency physicians must be able to effectively screen, manage, refer, and advocate for these complex patients. This study sought to describe the current state of addiction medicine training in Canadian emergency medicine (EM) residency programs and to assess the need for a formal curriculum. Methods: All Royal College and College of Family Physicians EM Program Directors (PDs) were asked to participate in a ten-question needs assessment survey on addiction medicine training for residents. Questions were developed through consensus after reviewing the relevant literature and conducting a formal pilot survey with staff physicians experienced in survey methodology. Responses were collected securely using the Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) database. Results: 19 out of 31 (62%) eligible PDs completed the survey. The importance of addiction medicine training received a median score of 69.5 (IQR=74.0) on a scale of 1-100. Most programs devoted two hours or less per year of formalized teaching on individual topics (such as opioids, alcohol, harm reduction) over the past two academic years. The two most common teaching modalities used were didactic lectures (15/19, 78.9%) and case-based tutorials (12/19, 63.2%). Case-based tutorials were identified as the most effective teaching method (12/19, 63.2%). Topics highlighted as most important to include in a curriculum were: screening for substance use disorders and referral for further treatment (14/19, 73.7%), social determinants of health (14/19, 73.7%), alcohol, opioid, and stimulant intoxication and/or withdrawal (14/19, 73.7% each), and management of patients on opioid agonist therapy (14/19, 73.7%). The most commonly perceived barriers to implementing such a curriculum were insufficient curriculum time (10/19, 52.6%) and lack of qualified teaching staff (7/19, 36.8%). Conclusion: This needs assessment provides an understanding of the current state of addiction medicine training for EM residents in Canada. A case-based addiction medicine workshop is currently being developed to address identified curriculum gaps. Integrating this curriculum longitudinally into a time-constrained academic schedule is an important next step.