Fruita hospital joins in opioid project

Colorado Canyons Hospital and Medical Center in Fruita has joined in a statewide effort in which emergency departments treat pain without unnecessarily exposing patients to the risks associated with opioid medications.

Colorado Canyons Hospital and Medical Center, a facility operated by Family Health West, has joined the Colorado Alternatives to Opioids Project, an initiative intended to avoid exposing patients to opioid medications while addressing an increase in the misuse and abuse of opioids.

The effort is seen as a way for Colorado hospitals, particularly emergency departments, to integrate new and more effective pain management treatments while also meeting the individual needs of patients. By one estimate, Colorado has the 12th highest rate of prescription opioid misuse and abuse nationwide.

The emergency department at Colorado Canyons Hospital and Medical Center will continue to treat patients and conditions with opioids in appropriate situations and to offer opioid medications if alternative therapies fail.

Early in 2018, the Colorado Hospital Association announced the results of an opioid safety pilot project implemented in 10 emergency departments across the state during 2017. During the six- month pilot, participating facilities reduced the administration of opioid medications by an average of 36 percent while increasing the use of alternatives to opioids by 31 percent.