October 18, 2019 | Number of The Day
Drop in ER opioid prescriptions at University Hospital since 2016

Newark’s University Hospital credits its S.T.O.M.P. program with helping it drive down opioid prescriptions written in the emergency department for discharged patients by nearly 70% since 2016.

One of the keys to success is that the program uses non-opioid medication in all instances where it is a viable option. Notably, the reduction has been achieved without affecting patients’ pain management satisfaction scores or return rates for additional care.

Stewardship to Transform OUD while Medicating for Pain (S.T.O.M.P.) was developed at the Newark facility to directly address prevention and treatment of opioid-use disorder.

“The best way to prevent opioid addiction is to not expose someone to a situation where addiction can develop, and our non-opioid pain medication management strategies allows us to just do that,” said Dr. Lewis Nelson, Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine and Chief of Service at University Hospital. “In the instances where an opioid medication is absolutely necessary, usually in cases of serious acute pain, we work with the patient to keep the dose and duration as limited as possible, because long-term use is the leading cause of addiction.”