By STEVEN RYZEWSKI | Executive Editor
On Sept. 7, Poinciana Medical Center partnered with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office and joined nearly 60 other facilities under the banner of its parent company, HCA Healthcare, as part of its “Crush the Crisis” opioid take back day.
According to Matt Ayres, director of public relations and marketing for Poinciana Medical Center, the facility collected approximately 28 pounds of opioids during the event that day.
Company-wide, the total weight is still being gathered, but as of Sept. 12 HCA Healthcare had collected over 1,000 lbs. of opioids as part of the initiative.
“We had a table setup and throughout this four-hour period, residents came in and dropped off their unwanted or unneeded opioids,” Ayres explained. “Then the sheriffs took (the opioids) off-site for disposal.”
The involvement with OCSO was something Deputy Lissette Burgos said the department was happy to be part of.
“Poinciana Medical Center is an extremely valuable part of this community – not just for its quality medical care, but also for its commitment to ongoing education. When offered the opportunity to partner with the hospital for the ‘Crush the Crisis’ event, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office was more than willing,” Burgos said. “Community events like these help raise awareness for the growing opioid crisis in our country, and provide a safe place for people to dispose of their unused medications.”
The event is in its second year. In 2018, HCA Healthcare facilities in Nashville hosted the first “Crush the Crisis” event, successfully collecting more than 224 pounds of medication across eight hospitals.
“We were excited about the success of our TriStar Division’s take back day last year and knew that with HCA Healthcare’s scale, we could make an even greater impact by expanding this program to more of the communities we serve,” said Dr. Michael Schlosser, vice president of clinical excellence and surgical services at HCA Healthcare. “Every day, hospitals across the country treat patients for opioid overdose in emergency rooms. Take back events are vital to helping prevent drug overdose, controlling illicit drug use and curbing our nation’s opioid crisis.”
According to Ayres, the efforts go beyond the take back days, also.
“Poinciana Medical Center is part of a health system that also uses science of “big data” to reduce opioid misuse and transform pain management, with initiatives in surgical, emergency and other care settings,” Ayres explained.
Part of those efforts include a multi-modal approach to acute pain management. What this means is that two or more methods or medications are employed to reduce the need to use opioids to manage a patient’s pain. Physicians also have access to aggregated electronic health records that make it more difficult for medication-seekers to doctor-shop or alter prescriptions.
For more information, visit PoincianaMedicalCenter.com.