- Rural hospitals at high risk: 5 out of 43 qualifying hospitals (11.6%)
The opioid epidemic has hit rural communities especially hard, but some hospitals have found success with the Colorado Alternatives to Opioids Project. The pilot project “promot[es] alternative pain medications and educat[es] patients about the risks of opioid use,” according to an August 2020 report by the Flex Monitoring Team. Although the pilot project sought to reduce emergency department opioid prescribing rates by 15%, one hospital system reduced the rate by 31% in 2017.
[Pictured: Brandy Turcotte, CNA, left, and Lacy Lawrence, both medical workers at Weisbrod Memorial Hospital in Kiowa County, wear personal protective equipment that they have on hand at the small rural hospital, if needed, during the coronavirus pandemic. May 14, 2020 in Eads, Colorado.]