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Promoting Health Department Opioid-Prescribing Guidelines for New York City Emergency Departments: A Qualitative Evaluation

Nagel, Frederick, W., MD, MPH; Kattan, Jessica, A., MD, MPH; Mantha, Shivani, BA; Nelson, Lewis, S., MD; Kunins, Hillary, V., MD, MPH, MS; Paone, Denise, EdD

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: July/August 2018 - Volume 24 - Issue 4 - p 306–309
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000670
Practice Report: Practice Brief Report

To address the epidemic of opioid misuse and overdose, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene partnered with an expert panel of emergency medicine physicians to develop voluntary guidelines for judicious prescribing of opioids upon discharge from an emergency department. A qualitative evaluation of the guidelines was conducted using semistructured interviews with emergency department directors and providers. The guidelines were widely supported by respondents and cited as helpful in easing difficult negotiations with patients requesting opioids. Involvement of the expert panel in development of guidelines was particularly valuable in ensuring their credibility. Health departments should consider partnering with emergency physicians to promote the public health goal of judicious opioid prescribing.

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, New York (Drs Nagel, Kattan, Kunins, Paone and Ms Mantha) and Department of Emergency Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York City Poison Control Center, New York, New York (Dr Nelson). Dr Nagel is now with the North Central Bronx Hospital Emergency Department, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York. Dr Nelson is now with the Department of Emergency Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey.

Correspondence: Frederick W. Nagel, MD, MPH, North Central Bronx Hospital Emergency Department, 3424 Kossuth Ave, Suite 1A-10, Bronx, NY 10467 (

The authors acknowledge Dr Deborah Dowell for her expert guidance.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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