Bridge to Recovery for Patients with Substance Use Disorder
The Brigham took 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,” said Kate Takayoshi, NP, nurse practitioner team manager, of Brigham and Women’s Primary Care Associates, Longwood, who is the first nurse practitioner to see patients in the clinic, along with physicians and multidisciplinary staff.
After being discharged from inpatient units or the Emergency Department, patients who need treatment for a substance use disorder are immediately referred to the clinic and receive access to pharmacotherapy, a recovery coach and a resource specialist. The opening of the clinic allowed patients to be seen much sooner for their intake appointment and reduced 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, says Takayoshi.
“It’s critical to catch patients while they are in the hospital and connect them with the treatment they need,” said Takayoshi. “Any outreach a patient must do on their own can be a barrier that ultimately prevents them from receiving treatment.”