Although opioid agonist therapy is effective in treating opioid use disorders (OUD), retention in opioid agonist therapy is suboptimal, in part, due to quality of care issues. Therefore, we sought to describe the planning and implementation of a quality improvement initiative aimed at closing gaps in care for people living with OUD through changes to workflow and care processes in Vancouver, Canada.
The Best-practice in Oral Opioid agoniSt Therapy (BOOST) Collaborative followed the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Breakthrough Series Collaborative methodology over 18-months. Teams participated in a series of activities and events to support implementing, measuring, and sharing best practices in OAT and OUD care. Teams were assigned monthly implementation scores to monitor their progress on meeting Collaborative aims and implementing changes.
Seventeen health care teams from a range of health care practices caring for a total of 4301 patients with a documented diagnosis of OUD, or suspected OUD based on electronic medical record chart data participated in the Collaborative. Teams followed the Breakthrough Series Collaborative methodology closely and reported monthly on a series of standardized process and outcome indicators. The majority of (59%) teams showed some improvement throughout the Collaborative as indicated by implementation scores.
Descriptive data from the evaluation of this initiative illustrates its success. It provides further evidence to support the implementation of quality improvement interventions to close gaps in OUD care processes and treatment outcomes for people living with OUD. This system-level approach has been spread across British Columbia and could be used by other jurisdictions facing similar overdose crises.