A joint press conference was held this (Wed) morning at the Cherokee Regional Medical Center to share the hospital’s results from the Billion Pill Pledge opioid reduction program.
CRMC was the first hospital in the state to sign on with the program near the end of last year. Billion Pill Pledge is a first dose opioid prevention program designed to support patients through surgery and recovery by implementing and delivering advanced, opioid-minimizing surgery protocols.
Podiatric surgeon at the hospital Dr. John Greaves said it’s a special program…(audio clip below :17 )
The goal of the program is to reduce leftover opioids after surgery in the country by one-billion pills each year.
The program is powered by Goldfinch Health. John Greenwood is the Goldfinch Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer…(audio clip below :32 )
Greenwood said CRMC has historically been within the realms of normal prescribing habits…(audio clip below :25 )
The program is supported by the Iowa Attorney General’s Office. Iowa A-G Brenna Bird said she’s thankful to partner with Billion Pill Pledge and CRMC…(audio clip below :23 )
Bird said about nine in ten surgical patients get opioids, and around 61-percent of those pills are not used, and often fall into the wrong hands. She said about six in ten patients become persistent opioid users. Bird said a single-prescription fill of opioids in a household increases the risk of someone overdosing in that household by 60-percent. She said two prescriptions within six months increases the overdose risk by more than 625-percent.
Billion Pill Pledge is entirely funded through opioid settlement dollars. The Iowa Attorney General’s Office has provided 1.2-million dollars in funding for the program. Through the Iowa AG’s office, Goldfinch is able to hire remote nurses to help patients when they go home from surgery and understand their pain medications.