More Ontarians are filling opioid prescriptions now than ever before according to a recent report by Health Quality Ontario. Nearly two out of every 1,000 Ontarians visited an emergency department within a week of being dispensed an opioid and the death rate from opioid overdoses has nearly quadrupled in Ontario in the last 25 years.
A first-of-its-kind program, Mentoring, Education, and Clinical Tools for Addiction: Primary Care-Hospital Integration (META:PHI), reduces emergency room visits for opioid and alcohol addictions and improves patient care.
META:PHI provides patient’s with easy and fast referral between emergency departments, addiction specialists and family physicians.
Developed by Dr. Meldon Kahan and his team at Women’s College Hospital, in Toronto, the program’s rapid-access clinics have spread to seven additional communities across Ontario thanks to support from Adopting Research to Improve Care (ARTIC) – a program of the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO) and Health Quality Ontario with the mandate of accelerating the spread of programs which have been shown to improve care.
Patients have reported the clinic’s patient-centred approach made them feel less stigmatized – something patients living with addiction often feel.
The program is expected to spread more in years to come.