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Healthcare Providers Taking Action to Address Opioid Epidemic, Premier Inc. C-Suite Survey Suggests

Premier supports efforts by offering strategies, solutions and resources to curb opioid use, including repository of pain management alternatives; data-driven reports on opioid practice patterns; and care redesign initiatives to reduce addiction, overuse and misuse

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 11, 2018) — Healthcare providers are continuing to take action to address the opioid epidemic, according to a recent C-Suite survey from Premier Inc. (NASDAQ: PINC). Approximately 90 percent of C-Suite leaders from Premier member health systems are prioritizing strategies to curb opioid use.

According to the survey, the majority of C-Suite leaders are focusing their efforts on conducting patient assessments with standardized tools upon admission to evaluate pain levels, staff education on resources for safe opioid use and alternative methods for pain relief. Leaders also suggested they are engaging in patient education on pain management treatment and the safe use of opioids; collaborating with state, local and community partners; and using technology for clinical decision support, patient alerts, prescribing practices and continuous electronic monitoring of patient-controlled analgesia.

“With the number of people dying from opioid overdoses quadrupling since 1999 and the death toll continuing to climb, the President has deemed the opioid epidemic a public health emergency,” said Susan DeVore, president and CEO at Premier. “Premier and its members are continuing to take significant steps to improve pain management efforts, and reduce addiction, overuse and misuse by spreading and scaling tools, resources and practices focused on improving healthcare quality and patient safety.”

Premier has launched a series of efforts to address the opioid epidemic and make care safer. This includes a recently-published Safer Pain Management Toolkit for its members, which provides information on the history of opioids abuse, inappropriate access, and patient safety and pain management methods to improve care delivery processes. The toolkit also provides:

  • A repository of all Premier group purchasing contracts, suppliers, services and programs in the pain management space. Premier members can access this resource through its integrated intelligence platform PremierConnect®. The toolkit supports provider efforts to improve prescribing practices, opioid use in the hospital and patient safety through alternative methods and medications. Premier members can easily search for alternative therapies, as well as devices that monitor oxygen and carbon dioxide levels to avoid respiratory-related side effects, and infection prevention treatments to improve the immune system’s response to opioids.
  • A Premier data analysis of opioid visits, utilization and prescribing practices in the emergency department across nearly 650 hospitals. Premier also provides its members with individual reports on these measures to help leaders easily benchmark internal practice patterns against national data.

Hospitals in Premier’s Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN), part of the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services Partnership for Patients program, are participating in an initiative to measurably improve pain management among providers, clinicians and patients/families. To continue to improve opioid stewardship within the inpatient setting, Premier recently launched the national safer post-operative pain management pilot program with more than 30 hospitals to test and redesign new care delivery processes to better manage pain and the potential for drug addiction.

Additionally, Premier offers medication surveillance solutions that provide real-time alerts on high-risk drugs and potentially dangerous drug combination interactions, as well as monitors patients prescribed high-dose long acting/extended release opioids. These solutions also provide recommendations for co-prescribing naloxone, and educational tools for patient and family naloxone use prior to discharge.

Premier and its members are strong advocates for improving regulations and policies to help tackle the opioid epidemic, including legislation to remove limits around care coordination for addiction. More information on Premier’s efforts to address the opioid epidemic, including Premier research and strategies for improvement, can be found on the Premier Safety Institute website.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted online, with the results based off responses of 49 healthcare C-suite leaders (CEO, COO, CMO, CFO, CIO or CTIO) from September 20 – October 16, 2017. Participants were selected and invited to join the panel by Premier prior to survey administration. 

About Premier, Inc.

Premier Inc. (NASDAQ: PINC) is a leading healthcare improvement company, uniting an alliance of approximately 3,900 U.S. hospitals and health systems and approximately 150,000 other providers and organizations. With integrated data and analytics, collaboratives, supply chain solutions, and advisory and other services, Premier enables better care and outcomes at a lower cost. Premier, a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient, plays a critical role in the rapidly evolving healthcare industry, collaborating with members to co-develop long-term innovations that reinvent and improve the way care is delivered to patients nationwide. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Premier is passionate about transforming American healthcare. Please visit Premier’s news and investor sites on www.premierinc.com; as well as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and Premier’s blog for more information about the company.

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