Opioid Misuse and Overdose: Changes in Pharmacist Practices and Outcomes

Heidi Eukel, Jayme Steig, Oliver Frenzel, Elizabeth Skoy, Amy Werremeyer, Mark Strand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Continuing education (CE) provides educational opportunities for health professionals to adequately respond to issues in practice but infrequently evaluate sustained practice change. The opioid epidemic has risen to the forefront of health priorities in our nation. The Opioid and Naloxone Education (ONE Rx) CE program provides pharmacists the opportunity to expand their abilities and impact in the opioid crisis. METHODS: ONE Rx CE included risk assessment for opioid misuse/overdose, role of naloxone, disease of addiction, and communication strategies for patients and providers. Pharmacists who completed the CE screened patients and provided interventions over 12 months. CE participants were provided presurveys, postsurveys, and delayed postsurveys coordinated with the educational program. The Kirkpatrick Model was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the program by examining the four levels of assessment: reaction, commitment, behavior, and results. RESULTS: The Kirkpatrick Model was used to evaluate the impact of the CE. Reaction: 97% of respondents recommended the ONE Rx program. Commitment: 77% of respondents indicated commitment to provide ONE Rx opioid risk screening and interventions to patients. Behavior: Twelve months after training, pharmacists registered to prescribe naloxone increased by 67% and the number of pharmacists reporting naloxone dispensing doubled from 23% to 46%. OUTCOMES: Pharmacist interventions included medication take back programs explained (88.4%), naloxone dispensing to high-risk patients (10.9%), and discussion of opioid use disorder with patients with risk factors (49%). CONCLUSION: By using the Kirkpatrick Model, the ONE Rx CE program demonstrated high-quality opioid and naloxone education to pharmacists. Survey results and opioid harm reduction interventions indicate the CE resulted in sustained pharmacy practice behavior change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-247
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of continuing education in the health professions
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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