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Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN visited MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital to interview Dr. Stephen Anderson, Emergency Department physician at MultiCare Auburn Medical Center and past president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, Washington Chapter.
CNN documentary to air Sunday includes interview at MultiCare
A CNN documentary that will debut Sunday includes an interview with Dr. Stephen Anderson, an Emergency Department physician at MultiCare Auburn Medical Center and the immediate past president of the Washington Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians.
CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta visited MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital’s Emergency Department to film interviews as part of the documentary about prescription painkiller overdoses and the steps that hospitals are taking to prevent the misuse and abuse of these drugs.
CNN will debut the documentary “Deadly Dose” on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. The network will encore the one-hour documentary on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.
MultiCare emergency departments take part in a Washington state initiative that’s intended to help emergency departments reduce the inappropriate use of opioid analgesics while preserving the vital role of the emergency department to treat patients with emergent medical conditions.
The Washington Emergency Department Opioid Prescribing Guidelines include points such as, “One medical provider should provide all opioids to treat a patient’s chronic pain.” And, “EDs are encouraged to share the ED visit history of patients with other emergency physicians who are treating the patient using an Emergency Department Information Exchange system.”
The guidelines incorporate a relatively new service called the Emergency Department Information Exchange (EDIE), a cost-effective service that enables emergency departments to collaborate and share patient information in a secure and HIPAA-compliant manner.
Every time a patient registers with an emergency department, the EDIE will check for additional emergency department visits from that patient at other participating facilities across the state. The EDIE will then notify the emergency department immediately if the patient is found to have a suspicious pattern of emergency department visits.
The notice contains information such as a history of the patient’s ED visits that can help emergency physicians better understand the patient's medical circumstances in a wider context. Additionally, care coordination information such as the patient’s primary care physician and pain agreement are included when the patient is enrolled in an ED care coordination program.
According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, the estimated number of ED visits for nonmedical use of opioid analgesics more than doubled from 2004 to 2008 (from 144,600 visits to 305,900 visits). As the use of prescription opioids for chronic non-cancer pain has increased, so have unintended consequences related to opioids. In Washington from 1995-2009, there was a 17-fold increase in unintentional poisoning deaths and a seven-fold increase in poisoning hospitalizations involving prescription opioids. There has been a six-fold increase in state-funded substance abuse treatment admissions for prescription opioids in Washington from 2003-2010.
Accidental prescription drug overdoses in the United States now kill more people than heroin, crack, and methamphetamines combined. And, according to the CDC, accidental prescription overdoses now kill more Americans than do car crashes.
In the CNN documentary, chief medical correspondent Dr. Gupta reports how prescription drug misuse has become an epidemic. He speaks with a survivor, and takes viewers to the front lines of the crisis – riding along with paramedics, interviewing emergency room doctors, and listening to panicked calls to a poison response center – witnessing, first-hand, the too-often deadly consequences of drug overdoses.
Posted on Nov 15, 2012 in In the News