HAP Resource Center

Case Study: Mercy Fitzgerald and Mercy Philadelphia Hospitals 2019 HAP Achievement Award

HAP Achievement Awards Logo

Awarded for: Opiate Reduction Efforts across the Continuum Community event auditorium with speaker and audience
Community Champions
Medium Organizations

The goal:  Advance our acute-care pain management strategy in light of the opioid epidemic, improve community awareness, and address biases and remove barriers standing in the way of expanded access to treatment.

The hospitals developed and implemented a comprehensive program to combat the epidemic by:

  • Implementing strict protocols for narcotic prescriptions in emergency departments (ED)
  • Providing physicians with reports showing utilization of controlled medications as compared to colleagues
  • Providing patients receiving opiate prescriptions with discharge instructions that detail risks
  • Educating providers about the use of Narcan for opiate-prescribed patients and their families
  • Establishing a referral line, available 24/7, for any patient interested in the treatment of substance use disorder (SUD)
  • Instituting warm handoffs so that patients with SUD had easier access to recovery centers—the system included a single-point of access phone number to help staff in EDs, inpatient areas, and outpatient offices connect patients with treatment
  • Conducting community outreach through educational events about all aspects of addiction

Results:  This wide variety of programs and initiatives established a comprehensive approach to opiate-use awareness across the continuum of care, from acute to ambulatory settings and into the community.


Topics: Public Health, Quality Initiatives, Substance Use Disorder

Revision Date: 9/1/2019

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