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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Improving Uptake of Emergency Department-initiated Buprenorphine: Barriers and Solutions


Emergency departments (ED) are increasingly providing buprenorphine to persons with opioid use disorder. Buprenorphine programs in the ED have strong support from public health leaders and emergency medicine specialty societies and have proven to be clinically effective, cost effective, and feasible. Even so, few ED buprenorphine programs currently exist. Given this imbalance between evidence-based practice and current practice, proven behavior change approaches can be used to guide local efforts to expand ED buprenorphine capacity. In this paper, we use the theory of planned behavior to identify and address the 1) clinician factors, 2) institutional factors, and 3) external factors surrounding ED buprenorphine implementation. By doing so, we seek to provide actionable and pragmatic recommendations to increase ED buprenorphine availability across different practice settings.  [West J Emerg Med. 2022;23(4)461–467.]

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