In 2017, the State of Maine reported 418 drug-induced deaths, which is an increase of more than 150% over the past ten years. Without implementing effective strategies, such as extensive public and provider education and prevention, to address the epidemic of Substance Use Disorder/Opioid Use Disorder (SUD/OUD), the rate of opioid-related drug overdose deaths would only continue to rise in Maine. In response to this public health crisis, Qualidigm brings a solid set of expertise, experience, and technical assistance in support of SUD/OUD prevention, screening, treatment, and recovery initiatives to address this epidemic and ultimately decrease opioid overdose deaths.
In response to this public health crisis, Qualidigm established Caring for ME, a joint initiative with the Maine Medical Association that engages and supports Maine health systems and provider organizations to take an active role in addressing the opioid epidemic, provide education and support to improve the safety or opioid prescribing in compliance with current regulations, and to promote access to Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) services in primary care settings.
We worked with the Maine Medical Association, to address the following: a) improve prescriptive patterns; b) identify addiction and support treatment options; and c) reduced the stigma around substance abuse through compassionate chronic pain management approaches.
We also provide leadership programs to help clinicians develop leadership skills and strengthen the ability to identify and address systems-level issues in their community to respond to the opioid epidemic.
- Work directly with clinicians to support opioid abuse prevention efforts and improve the safety of opioid prescribing based on current regulations
- Educate clinicians on how to appropriately diagnose addiction and how to improve access to effective treatments
- Maintain a compassionate and trauma-informed approach to chronic pain management and reduce the stigma around substance use disorder and its treatment
As part of the intervention, we recruited almost 8,000 clinicians in 35 practices across Maine, to deliver information through learning collaboratives, as well as provided direct technical assistance to 10 different community sites. This initiative resulted in an 18% reduction in opioid prescriptions; 27% reduction in doses; and 16% reduction in morphine milligram equivalents in two years.