Coordinate with Community Organizations

NCHA believes responding to the opioid epidemic and overdose crisis requires a coordinated community response. It is crucial for hospitals and healthcare systems to connect with community opioid treatment programs, medication-assisted treatment providers, and encourage community wide conversations and solutions. When hospitals are a strong community partner, patient referrals will improve, and hospitals can be part of the upstream effort to prevent substance use disorders.  

Key Takeaways for the ED 

  1. Create opportunities to meet community-based providers for substance use disorder – developing relationships is key to better serving patients. Perhaps invite a community partner to provide an overview of services at a monthly team meeting. 
  2. Host or become a member of a community-based coalition to respond to the opioid epidemic in your local community.  
  3. Engage with agencies addressing social determinants of health, such as housing, employment, food, and transportation. Ensure these relationships are strong to encourage collaboration and a streamlined referral process for patients.  
  4. Prioritize community partnerships based on patient needs. For example, focusing on providers who serve substance use patients who are uninsured, have transportation needs, or need safe and accessible housing upon discharge.  

Resources to Get You Started 

More Powerful NC: Community Toolkits

Recovery Communities of North Carolina  

NCCARE 360, an online platform for community-based referrals led by the NC Department of Health and Human Services and the Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation.

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North Carolina Healthcare Association

2400 Weston Parkway
Cary, NC 27513
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