1st position

Telehealth clinic for opioid use disorders

The COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath have made it more difficult for patients with substance use disorders to access care. There has been an increase in the number of fatal overdoses due to the emergence of new opioids in Canada and an increase in fentanyl-contaminated drugs.

 

Community resources, including CACTUS Montréal, contacted the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) to express their concerns. Their clients, often not in the system and distrustful of medical services, were becoming increasingly precarious and experiencing increasingly critical health issues.

 

Additionally, telehealth consultations with patients at the addiction medicine clinic have increased. This type of consultation has removed multiple barriers that were limiting access to CHUM services (cost of transportation, disorganization, fear of stigma, etc.). However, many patients were experiencing homelessness or had no access to a device or internet connection to use this type of consultation.

 

In response to the current opioid crisis, a new partnership with the community organization CACTUS Montréal has made it possible to establish a virtual clinic to offer services to visitors to community organizations. CACTUS makes available to its clientele a facility equipped with computers, and access to health care workers from the addiction medicine clinic. This has allowed clients to benefit from the expertise of CHUM professionals, access follow-up care as other patients do, and promptly begin their personalized treatment plans.

 

Project submitted by Sofiane Chougar, Nurse Clinician, Assistant Head Nurse

Other contributors: Dr. Suzanne Brissette and Dr. Julie Bruneau