OHA's New Data Dashboard Launches to Support Community Solutions for Opioid Crisis

Columbus, Ohio - 43215 - The Ohio Hospital Association is contributing a new resource in the fight against the opioid crisis by launching an interactive dashboard with downloadable files providing county-level data on overdose patient encounters at Ohio hospitals for use by local health departments and community groups.

“Ohio hospitals are on the front lines providing lifesaving services and treatment to help patients on their road to recovery from opioid addiction and abuse,” said Mike Abrams, OHA president and CEO. “OHA is sharing health care data to support community strategies for addressing this crisis.”

OHA will release annual and quarterly rates of opioid overdose encounters at our member hospitals. For the first release April 6, OHA analyzed the 12-month data from second quarter 2016 through third quarter 2017 and sorted by gender, race and age range of the patient along with marketplace totals and county level per-capita rates. In May, OHA will release an annual Ohio hospital encounter summary covering 2008 to year-end 2017 data with additional detail on the demographics within the regional marketplaces. Quarterly updates will be posted thereafter.

OHA data are derived from the nearly 34 million annual coded hospital encounters in Ohio. The release of per-capita rates by county as well as by market area are intended to assist health policy makers, funders and local collaboratives in their work. Because the data are derived from hospital submissions, the figures do not reflect overdoses that took place but did not present for care at a hospital or for overdoses that occurred among Ohio residents who were cared for at hospitals outside of Ohio. This data set is encounter-level and does not reflect individual patients. OHA worked with third-party experts to assure data in the release protects patient privacy.

The rising opioid overdose rate is taking an enormous toll on Ohio families and communities, and Ohio’s hospitals managed 27,377 total overdose encounters in 2016, a 52 percent increase over 2015 and a 500 percent increase from 2008 when hospitals treated 5,216 cases. OHA’s most conservative projections show that, should these trends continue, Ohio hospitals will be managing over 90,000 opioid overdoses annually by 2025.

Faced with this data, the OHA in 2017 launched the Opioid Response Initiative. Leveraging OHA’s database analysts identified communities and the hospitals disproportionately affected by the opioid epidemic. In September, leading experts from the highly impacted hospitals assembled to identify evidence-based interventions from local, regional and national sources and to share them with OHA’s member hospitals.

The efforts of the OHA Opioid Response Initiative, guided by national evidence and community input, are grouped into three focus areas: prevention, transition to treatment and recovery and harm reduction. Projects include helping transition patients to addiction treatment services, decreasing total opioid prescriptions (in line with state and national guidelines), promoting education around medication assisted therapy and distributing naloxone to high risk patients and families. Ohio’s hospitals have been at the forefront of this collaboration for some time addressing issues of prescribing patterns, partnership with local resources and agencies and promoting the best and most comprehensive treatment available.