Owensboro Health was one of six sites across the nation selected for the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC) Opioid Quality Improvement Collaborative. Owensboro Health will help lead a national initiative aimed at improving chronic pain management and combating the opioid crisis.
Owensboro Health will join healthcare systems from two cohorts across 11 states as well as 120 primary care practices in putting CDC guideline tools and protocols into place. Members of the collaborative will be early adopters of recommendations from the CDC guideline, with a goal to improve long-term pain care and opioid prescribing.
Owensboro Health is part of the collaborative’s second cohort of participating healthcare systems.
David Danhauer has been on a statewide board working to make all health information electronically exchangeable. The CDC reached out to Danhauer about this initiative because of his connections with the state of Kentucky.
“We had a kickoff in March. Since then, we’ve been working on getting baseline data together,” Danhauer said.
Danhauer said Owensboro Health was the first in the entire cohort that was able to get the required data turned in.
“That was big time,” he said. “Our four primary care clinics involved are going to look at the baseline data and say, ‘How can we get better and improve each of those measures?’”
For the next year or so, the CDC will be looking at local data submitted by Owensboro Health.
“The goal of the CDC is, ‘We’ve got goals, but how do we put rubber to road and make it happen? How do we make this real? What works and what doesn’t?’” Danhauer said.
Daviess County is in a hotbed as far as the opioid crisis is concerned, Danhauer said.
“Kentucky is one of the worst in the country. I thought, ‘We really need to step up and do this,’” he said. “Prescription opioids are a problem here, but people think of appalaccia as being the big problem-area in the state, but we certainly have our issues here.”
The four Owensboro Health primary care locations involved in the collaborative include the Triplett Street and Breckenridge Street clinics (Owensboro), Muhlenberg Healthplex (Powderly), and Multicare (Madisonville). Each location features a physician champion to help facilitate implementation.
“They’re the ones doing the hard work,” Danhauer said.