CHA released results of the Colorado Opioid Safety Pilot. Beginning in June 2017, CHA and its member hospitals conducted a six-month pilot in eight Colorado hospital emergency departments (EDs) and two freestanding emergency departments (FSEDs) with the goal of reducing the administration of opioids by ED clinicians. This initiative, one of the largest opioid research efforts in the United States, used treatment guidelines developed by the Colorado Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (Colorado ACEP) that recommend the use of alternatives to opioids (ALTOs) as a first-line treatment for pain rather than opioids.
All participating members successfully implemented the pilot, which returned remarkable results. The EDs achieved a 36 percent reduction in opioid administrations when compared to the same time period in 2016, far surpassing the original pilot goal of a 15 percent reduction. This amounted to a projection of 35,000 fewer individual opioid administrations between the 2017 pilot and the 2016 baseline period.