SACAD: John Heinrichs Scholarly and Creative Activity Days


Objective: Primary care providers have an integral role in combating the opioid epidemic and preventing opioid-related deaths. One method of prevention is prescribing naloxone to patients at high risk for overdose. Naloxone is a medication that bystanders may administer during an overdose situation that can reverse the life-threatening side effects of opioids. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to increase the number of naloxone prescriptions written by primary care providers to patients on opioids considered at high risk for overdose. High-risk patients were considered those prescribed opioids over 50 morphine equivalents (MME) and those who had co-prescribed benzodiazepines. Method: This quality improvement project occurred in a suburban primary care clinic with seven full-time providers. An educational intervention was introduced that provided information about naloxone, discussed barriers to prescribing, and provided patient education materials. Aggregate data was collected over three months prior to the intervention and over three months during the intervention phase. The number of high-risk patients prescribed naloxone pre- and post-intervention was obtained utilizing the organization’s electronic medical record (EMR). Results: The data was evaluated, showing a 22.43% improvement in naloxone prescribing in the total high-risk patient population from pre- to post-intervention. Conclusion: This quality improvement project benefited individual providers through education on co-prescribing naloxone in high-risk patients. Following best practices when prescribing opioids has been shown to save patient lives. The project could be extended to other primary care practices to improve patient safety.

Keywords: primary care, naloxone, barriers, opioid, overdose

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Michelle Van Der Wege



Submission Type

online only poster




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