SMART is honored to announce that Spectrum Health Care, Inc. has chosen the SMART Solution as their EHR of choice. Our EHR has been implemented in their clinic in Jersey City, NJ. Spectrum Health has been providing outpatient opioid treatment services to the people of Hudson County since 1984. SMART welcomes this CARF-Accredited opioid treatment provider to our family of software customers.
It was a joy meeting the clinic staff and to learning more about their individual needs and experiences. We worked side-by-side with them to configure the software to their needs. Then we establish system settings to support their workflow and increase efficiency in daily operations. With any implementation, there is a great deal of information to collect, transfer, and protect. And training on any new EHR involves a fair amount of one-on-one guidance. This ensures that the partner’s needs are thoroughly captured and that goals are clearly expressed. Both teams were pleased with the outcome and are excited for the future this new partnership.
Spectrum Health Care, Inc. is a private, non-profit, CARF accredited agency funded by the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Addiction Services. Located in Jersey City and serving residents of Hudson County, SHC provides a complete range of coordinated opioid treatment services in a professional and dynamic out-patient care setting. Learn more
Penny LeGate, founder of the Marah Project, with daughter Marah LeGate
The term ‘ addiction epidemic ‘ is topically saturating the media. Consequently, it’s no wonder why so much is ignored about the very real plight of those affected. It is also common for those who have not been affected to deny the reality of addiction as a ‘disease’. And even more so, the importance of ensuring available treatment options within their communities. Even if you’ve only met a handful of addiction recovery experts, there is something you have likely discovered. Specifically that many have become advocates because they had first-hand experience with the loss of a loved one from overdose.
“To think that one day I would grow up and have a child who would be lost to heroin was unthinkable.” This summarizes the personal experience bravely shared by Penny LeGate King County, WA resident and former TV host. She share this with the Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force panel this June.
Talking About Solutions
To highlight the fact that addiction knows no bounds, this Task Force (a panel of addiction treatment experts) met with residents of King County. They discussed what is really happening within their communities. Furthermore, as a member of this panel, LeGate also shared, “One of the main things I’m trying to do as a parent who has lost a child is to reach out to other parents who say, ‘It will never happen to me,’ and for those it does happen to, to tell them there is no shame, there is no stigma and the way that people die is hiding in the shadows and not talking about it.”¹
With this in mind, Molly Carney the Executive Director of Evergreen Treatment Services who served on this panel alongside LeGate explained what she has learned. “There is a lot of stigma around the treatment just as there is stigma around the disorder we’re trying to treat; so education, education, education is incredibly important right now.”¹ Notably, Carney has been a long-time proponent of addiction recovery and promoting the availability of treatment services. As a part of this Task Force, she is responsible for implementing drug epidemic solutions. Specifically, solutions involve redirecting the role of law enforcement officials. Their roles will shift from imprisoning addicts to instead helping those affected by addiction. This is in the hope that individuals will get the treatment that they so desperately need to achieve recovery.¹
The Task Force also supports addiction and overdose prevention initiatives. With the hope of changing the way the government addresses addiction, Brad Finegood, co-founder of the task force spoke. “We’re looking at how to get treatment medications out onto the streets and into the hands of users and their loved ones…. We are especially focused on getting increased access to the homeless populations.”²
June 2016 – According to a 2015 article published on NJ.com, New Jersey’s fatal overdose rate was up to three times the national average.¹ The rates in Camden continue to soar above the already astounding numbers reported for other NJ counties.² As the nation continues to fully realize and act on the monumental drug addiction problem, Camden has been no stranger to absorbing the consequences. Coupled with the out of control drug activity, this county has come to be known as one of the most dangerous in America.³
Some officials argue that the worst of days are behind them, but nevertheless there is a lot more work to be done. In a documentary by The Daily, a group of residents gave their own accounts of what it is really like living in that area. Most businesses, like restaurants, grocery stores, and hotels have long been closed leaving behind abandoned buildings. Walking along the street is safe for no one, as one woman attested before mentioning that her cousin what gunned down just two days prior.⁴ The issues of violence and drug addiction are undoubtedly closely correlated.
Tackling one the the two major issues, addiction treatment facilities are steadfastly operating in some of the most affect areas. A once a shunned and misunderstood form of addiction treatment is now being gratefully embraced in Camden and around the country. Medication-assisted treatment facilities, like Urban Treatment Associates, employ the use of medications like methadone or buprenorphine to help stabilize patients seeking recovery. Increasing and maintaining the availability if treatment is essential to the revitalization of Camden.
June, 2016 – Congratulations to the staff and leadership team at John Brooks Recovery Center (JBRC) on the successful opening of a much needed clinic in Pleasantville, NJ. After more than ten years, their efforts are finally being realized as they are poised to bring more addiction recovery services to those in need in Atlantic City and its surrounding communities. Mayor Jesse Tweedle said, “There’s definitely a need for this in the region. Our cops have Narcan now to help with overdoses and they’re saving people. We are all working in a partnership and being proactive to step up and fight substance abuse…”
With the ability to serve up to 700 patients, JRBC looks forward to bringing positive change and recovery to the area. Read the full article.
John Brooks Recovery Center has been helping people find their way out of addiction since 1969. JBRC is a comprehensive, multi-modality, addiction treatment facility, providing both residential and outpatient services.
People affected by substance use disorder often suffer from other physical or mental illnesses. Those in addiction treatment already face the challenges of consistently making it to treatment and staying sober. Co-occurring disorders like heroin addiction and Hepatitis C generate many additional obstacles which can lead to patients putting treatment of select health related issues (like hep C) on the back burner. Although this virus may not present the same urgency as withdrawal, “70%–85% for people who become infected with Hepatitis C, it becomes a long-term, chronic infection.” ¹
Some addiction treatment providers are taking an extra step to ensure that their patients healthcare needs are addressed using telemedicine. This is defined by SAMHSA as “…Two-way, real time interactive communication between the patient, and the physician or practitioner at the distant site. This electronic communication means the use of interactive telecommunications equipment that includes, at a minimum, audio and video equipment…”² Providing this service to patients with the co-occurring disorders has been shown to help address the neglected portions of their personal healthcare.
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) recently awarded a 5 year, $7 million grant to a professor of medicine at University of Buffalo to support his efforts in addressing the spread of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among drug users who share needles.³ As our nation continues to deal with the opioid epidemic, Hepatitis C has increase immensely. However, the UB study is presenting positive outcomes as a result of the virtual integration of telemedicine. Read more in the full article by UB³