University Hospitals awarded $1 million from Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge for UH Ventures-developed technology solution that helps mitigate the opioid epidemic

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UH Care Continues kept more than 12,000 opioid pills out of circulation in just six months

CLEVELAND – University Hospitals was today awarded a $1 million grant from the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge for creating an innovative technology solution that helps health professionals in the fight against the opioid epidemic plaguing our communities.

This follows a $200,000 award last year from the first phase of the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge, which helped UH improve the product development and fueled collaboration internally as well as with other Challenge participants.

UH Ventures, the innovation arm for University Hospitals, developed UH Care Continues – a logistics technology platform supporting patients as they transition out of the hospital, providing an opportunity for opioid surveillance and tracking in real time.

“This prestigious acknowledgement from the Ohio Third Frontier validates University Hospitals’ proactive approach to doing its part to address the opioid epidemic in our community,” said Tom Zenty, University Hospitals CEO. “Furthermore, it also substantiates our decision to establish a venturing and innovation platform. A primary focus of UH Ventures is the growth and diversification of alternative income, the identification and support of unmet needs, as well as the sourcing of potentially scalable solutions from both within our health system and in collaboration with various external partners. UH Care Continues is a perfect example of this strategy in action.”

UH’s strategy to address the opioid epidemic includes reducing unnecessary opioid prescribing through education, awareness and accountability facilitated by technology innovations.

“UH Care Continues advances this objective,” said Eric Beck, DO, MPH, an emergency medicine physician and President of UH Ventures. “Routine opioid prescriptions are no longer an acceptable approach at the time of hospital discharge. UH Care Continues provides us with a unique opportunity to limit, by ensuring necessity, many of the opioid prescriptions contributing to risk for opioid misuse and dependence.”

UH Care Continues is part of a re-designed team approach to care coordination, discharge planning and post-acute care at UH.

“We are using technology to support clinicians in considering each patient’s needs, risks, preferences and alternatives as part of our new discharge planning process,” Dr. Beck said.

Full Press Release.