Narcotic prescription medication abuse is on the rise, both on a national and local level. In response to that dangerous situation, McKenzie Health System is establishing an “Oxy-Free” Emergency Department. It is the first of its kind in Michigan and the efforts in developing and implementing this policy have been applauded by a number of state medical and pharmaceutical agencies.
In the face of growing prescription medication addiction, overdose, and deaths,
McKenzie Health System is taking steps to restrict the Emergency Department’s dispensing of narcotic and sedative medications, such as Oxycodone and Oxycontin, for complaints of chronic pain.
The physicians and staff at McKenzie understand that chronic pain is real, and that
individuals with chronic pain need a physician who can address their needs on a consistent basis, rather than relying on different Emergency Department physicians to manage this type of pain.
Dr. Mark Hamed, Medical Director of the McKenzie Health System Emergency
Department explained, “We know that narcotic pain medication and other controlled substances can cause dependence, as well as a physical and mental addiction. With that in mind, our physicians will only responsibly prescribe narcotic pain medications after a thorough examination and review of the patient's complete medical history. This, we believe, will help ensure that the most appropriate medication is being prescribed and is aligned with the patient's best health interest in mind. We will try to control a patient’s chronic pain with non-narcotic medications, and just as important, we will direct the patient toward resources that can help them achieve a long term solution for their chronic pain condition.”
Dr. Hamed reported, “Patients will continue to receive a comprehensive medical
examination and screening, through which we will identify and address any acute emergency conditions and no patient will ever be turned away from the Emergency Department, for any reason.” Steve Barnett, President and CEO of McKenzie Health System added, “This policy is another example of our continued commitment to provide safe, compassionate and excellent care at McKenzie Health System.”
For more information about the “Oxy-Free” Emergency Department program, or any
other service that McKenzie Health System offers, call 810-648-3770. McKenzie's Oxy-Free ED Policy is also available for download.