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ER Intervention

Project Contact: Ive Vintimilla


The All in for Florida: Emergency Room Intervention Project is establishing new processes and relationships between hospitals and community service providers to provide a person-to-person link for transitions between emergency rooms and treatment services. The two-year project is a collaboration between The Florida Hospital Association Research and Education Foundation (FHAREF) and Emergency Medicine Learning and Resource Center (EMLRC) and the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association (FADAA). This project is funded through the generosity of the Aetna Foundation.

The project will identify best practices for integrating behavioral health care with emergency departments and develop training modules to be used around the state. Practitioners will utilize the training module tools to create bridges between emergency departments and community substance use disorder treatment agencies.


Last year, Florida’s hospitals treated nearly 18,000 emergency department patients who overdosed on opioid-related drugs. Of those patients, 10 percent were being treated for overdosing a second time or more. While emergency departments provide the very best immediate care, drug treatment and rehabilitation programs provide the best long-term solution.


On April 25, 2018, the Florida Hospital Association (FHA), and the Florida Alcohol & Drug Abuse Association (FADAA), were supported by Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, Congressman Gus Bilirakis, and Senator Bill Nelson in the launch of the new initiative. Congreswoman Murphy provided opening remarks. The Aetna grant funding allows FHA and FADAA members to work together on "All in for Florida: The Emergency Room Intervention Project" to ensure patients are safely discharged into a treatment program best suited to serve their individual needs. Using data and real-time feedback to identify and share best practices, our efforts will provide opioid abusers with access to treatment services at a time when there is the greatest opportunity to intervene and address their addiction.


The project's first phase has focused on gathering hospital data such as substance abuse admission rates, treatment patterns, discharge and referral services.
During phase two of the project, participating hospitals will be matched with community-based organizations to establish warm hand off protocols and care transitions.

FHA and partnering treatment center staff will provide education and support for hospital teams, community-based organizations, emergency medical service providers, and law enforcement.


All in for Florida: Hospital Intervention

One-Day Summit on Tuesday August 14

Documents from the Summit:

Following the all-day summit, project leaders determined there were three key takeaways for needed areas of future engagement:

1. Improved communication between hospital providers, mainly emergency room personnel, and MAT providers. Developing a line of communication for each participating agency from Emergency Department discharge to ongoing behavioral health and treatment would be beneficial. Palm Beach County worked with 211 as the communication line from the hospital to a peer specialist. The peer specialist would then provide navigation to the appropriate continuum of care partners; may be a prototype model.

2.More discussion is needed on HIPPA and the ability and/or inability to share patient information with peer specialists.There is a suggestion to have DCF and FHA define legally what can be done to assure HIPPA compliance.

3. There is needed attention for physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants with MAT waivering: specifically buprenorphine. Communication with FHA for educational sessions for specific SAMHSA waivering programs is already underway.