ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE

In 2020, the Harm Reduction Action Center partnered with local medical professionals to develop and administer a survey of Emergency Department (ED) and inpatient clinicians at local hospitals in the Denver and Aurora area. This survey was also reviewed by the People Who Inject Drugs (PWID) Advisory Committee.

The goal of this survey was to better understand attitudes of healthcare providers towards people who inject drugs so that we can collaborate with hospital partners to develop interventions to help improve the quality of care that people receive in the hospital setting.
We appreciate all of the clinicians who participated in this survey and look forward to enhancing our partnerships with health professionals.

Highlighted Findings
• Internal Medicine staff generally have more positive attitudes towards PWID than Emergency Medicine staff
• Physicians and Social Workers generally have more positive attitudes towards PWID than Nurses and Technicians, and Advanced Practice Provider (NP and PA) attitudes generally fall in between these two groups
• A majority of clinicians do not think that harm reduction practices lead to increased substance use
• Less than 5% of clinicians at Denver Health and UCH are not interested in implementing harm reduction with patients
• 65% of Emergency Department staff members and 75% of Internal Medicine staff members believe that they could develop a substance use disorder under different circumstances
• Common barriers that clinicians identified to implementing harm reduction with patients include lack of knowledge about harm reduction, they don’t know where to send people for harm reduction resources, they don’t have time to discuss harm reduction, and they need to prioritize connecting patients to treatment
• Many clinicians would be interested in support from HRAC through trainings or tours

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