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Warm Handoff

A warm handoff protocol, developed in partnership by the Pennsylvania departments of Health and Drug and Alcohol Programs as well and the Pennsylvania College of Emergency Physicians, was unveiled Feb. 14 and has been distributed statewide for recommended use by emergency room physicians and other healthcare professionals caring for overdose patients.
Acting Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs Jennifer Smith and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine discussed the Wolf Administration's efforts to battle the opioid epidemic during a visit to Reading Hospital, Feb. 14, 2017 where they highlighted the "warm handoff" protocol in getting overdose survivors directly into treatment for addiction. PACEP’s Charles Barbera, MD, MBA, FACEP was also on hand to discuss how Reading Hospital is successfully getting overdose survivors into treatment.
The protocol/clinical pathway provides guidance on how to counsel an overdose survivor about their overdose and how to strongly encourage him or her to enter treatment immediately for drug addiction.
Congratulations to all on this committed partnership and support in curbing this public health crisis!

View and download the warm handoff protocol/clinical pathway document.

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