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Brigham Health has taken a major step forward in caring for patients with substance use disorder, by opening the Brigham Health Bridge to Recovery, or “Bridge Clinic.”
“Our goal is to get high-risk patients started with the medications and services they need immediately, then help them find the right program to support their recovery,” says Kate Takayoshi, nurse practitioner team manager of Brigham and Women’s Primary Care Associates, Longwood, who is the first nurse practitioner, along with physicians and multidisciplinary staff, to see patients in the clinic.
Patients who need treatment after being discharged from inpatient units or the Emergency Department are immediately referred to the clinic and receive access to pharmacotherapy, a recovery coach, and a resource specialist. The opening of the clinic has allowed patients to be seen much sooner for their intake appointment, reducing the number of patients “lost to follow-up” (meaning they were discharged from the hospital and did not follow up to continue receiving outpatient treatment).
“It’s critical to catch patients while they are in the hospital and connect them with the treatment they need,” Takayoshi says. “Any outreach a patient must do on their own can be a barrier that ultimately prevents them from receiving treatment.”