Challenge:

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 Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), the rate of opioid-related drug overdose deaths will 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 OUD prevention, screening, treatment, and recovery initiatives to address this epidemic and ultimately decrease opioid overdose deaths.

Solution:

In response to the opioid crisis in Maine, the Project ECHO: Medication Assisted Treatment program, with the support of a grant from Harvard Pilgraim Health Care, improves the lives of patients and families living with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) by enhancing the capacity and quality of services available to patients in their communities through their primary care practices. The program works to establish a primary care culture that understands addiction as a chronic disease and is prepared and capable to address the range of issues, including underlying trauma and mental health conditions that emerge during the process of treatment. Specifically, this program focuses on supporting primary care-based Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) services provided by prescribing providers, behavioral health clinicians and teams. This program supports enhanced access to MAT in local communities. By continuing to strengthen the role and functions of integrated behavioral health clinicians in delivering MAT with their primary care providers and teams, the program helps to improve the experience, quality, and safety of care for patients with this dangerous and often deadly disease through evidence-based treatment.

Benefit:

Qualidigm has run 10 sessions (including orientations and Mock ECHOs) for this ECHO program since August 2018 and reached 123 providers and practice team members in 3 states. The program participants learned the importance of screening for mental health concerns with underlying SUDs and defining why behavioral health conditions are important to identify and address. They developed competencies to deliver trauma-informed care. They learned strategies for implementing medication assisted therapies and different models of care for SUD. They bolstered skills to appropriately identify and treat SUD. Lastly, they learned strategies to build individual and organizational resilience to support complex patient care and sustain MAT.


This project is an example of some of our ECHO sessions. For more information on our ECHO projects and how you can get involved please contact info@qualidigm.org.