Friday, July 26, 2013 —
TROY – Hospital emergency departments are on the front lines of a national crisis involving the misuse and abuse of prescription medications. The emergency departments at the three FirstHealth of the Carolinas hospitals are no exception.
With the recent adoption of a new policy on emergency department administration of narcotic and sedative medications, however, FirstHealth has taken an important local step toward combating a problem with staggering social and economic implications accompanied by an alarming toll in human lives.
The policy affects the emergency departments at Montgomery Memorial Hospital in Troy, Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst and Richmond Memorial Hospital in Rockingham.
It will also affect the emergency department at a new FirstHealth hospital that is scheduled to open in Hoke County this fall.
The new policy was rolled out to the Montgomery County law enforcement and medical communities during a July 18 meeting at Montgomery Memorial Hospital. Speakers included Chrystal Eller, M.D., of the FirstHealth Family Care Center-Troy and president of the Montgomery Memorial Hospital medical staff; and Daniel Barnes, D.O., president of the FirstHealth Physician Group.
Dr. Eller called the problem a community problem that can only be addressed by a community effort.
“Narcotics abuse is more than just an emergency department issue,” she said.
“It is a problem for all providers, and we all need to be part of the solution. This policy will hopefully be our first step in opening a dialogue with patients, providing better education about appropriate management of chronic pain, and reducing the amount of prescription drug abuse and misuse in our community.”
Also attending the rollout program was Montgomery County Sheriff Dempsey Owens, who noted that his office collected, inventoried and transported to the Greensboro office of the North Carolina SBI more than 10,000 pills during a recent weeklong medicine drop program.