CHI St. Gabriel’s Health, Little Falls, MN, received the Minnesota Hospital Association’s Innovation of the Year in Patient Care honor for small hospitals. In 2015, CHI St. Gabriel's Health received a State Innovation Model grant to focus on a population of patients using narcotics for chronic pain. Emergency room data showed that the top reason for ED visits at St. Gabriel's Hospital was patients seeking narcotics for pain.
A multidisciplinary care team was created to treat each of these patients face to face, focusing on the cause of their pain. The Morrison County Prescription Drug Task Force was formed to enhance community collaboration on this project. Together, CHI St. Gabriel's and the task force held a community forum in October 2016 to build awareness, educate and encourage the community to lock up medications and properly dispose of unused medications.
CHI St. Gabriel's Health has reduced the prescribing of opioids by 9,000 pills each month for the first 127 patients found to be overusing opioids. Savings on pharmaceutical costs for just those 127 patients total $738,000 annually. More importantly, fewer opioid prescriptions contribute to a better quality of life for patients and a safer community.