Opioid Guardianship: Combating the Opioid Crisis

Presenter: Sarah Derr, PharmD
Medication Management Lead
Iowa Healthcare Collaborative


Co-Presenter: Meg Nugent, MHA,RN
Senior Vice President, Clinical Affairs
Iowa Healthcare Collaborative

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018
3:00 pm - 3:50 pm 
Key Ballroom 4

Session Description:

The opioid epidemic continues to worsen across the United States and Iowans are no exception to this crisis. IHC is taking a three-pronged approach to combat this crisis with multiple partners across the state. This approach includes prevention and appropriate prescribing, treatment for opioid use disorder, and medication disposal and diversion prevention. Through Compass HIIN, hospitals in two cohorts in Iowa are re-framing pain to focus on comfort and functionality. Preliminary results from a translational research study which shows the impact the comfort scale has on prescribing practices and patient evaluation of pain will be discussed. As the HIIN program has been established, IHC is focusing on integrating this approach into the Compass PTN and next steps will be reviewed.


Learning Objectives:

  • Summarize the current crisis at the national and Iowa state level.
  • Discuss approaching the opioid crisis from a prevention side through the use of comfort resources. 
  • Review quality data and preliminary translational research results reflecting improvement in pain management, decrease in adverse events and the impact of the comfort scale on prescribing practices and patient evaluation of pain.

Presenters Biographies:

Sarah Derr, PharmD, serves as the Medication Management Lead with the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. In this role, Dr. Derr contributes to all operations and initiatives aimed at medication safety and effectiveness in healthcare. She has an array of experiences across the healthcare spectrum including long term care, inpatient, ambulatory care, toxicology and policy and advocacy.  She completed her PharmD at the University of Minnesota and went on to complete an ambulatory care residency at Fairview Health Services and a fellowship the Iowa Pharmacy Association.




Meg Nugent, BSN, MHA, senior vice president of clinical affairs at Iowa Healthcare Collaborative received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Iowa and her master’s degree in healthcare administration from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. She worked as a corporate quality director for HCA Inc., providing support to facilities in all aspects of cardiovascular care including clinical outcomes, performance improvement and operations. She has extensive clinical experience in the areas of critical care and cardiovascular nursing. Ms. Nugent’s management responsibilities have included hospital operations in the areas of cardiology, catheterization laboratory, guest relations, medical staff, infection control, quality, risk management and case management. She also has extensive experience in physician practice management. She is the project director for HIIN and TCPI and has oversight of all IHC clinical programs.

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