State’s Response to the Opioid Crisis

The Strategic Plan “South Dakota’s Statewide Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis” developed by South Dakota’s Department of Health’s Opioid Abuse Advisory Committee, generally follows the National Governors Association’s (NGA) ideas in their “Opioid Road Map for the States”.

South Dakota’s Opioid Road Map touches on several areas where technology is needed to carry through on ideas that can present strategies for prevention, early identification for addiction, along with the latest strategies for treating addiction.

One step recommended is to support the development of the growing workforce needed to treat the problem by developing future teleECHO hub and clinics in the state. In addition, further development of the teleECHO clinic model should take place with selected partners and standardized forms and processes for managing teleECHO clinics should be used. Pilot testing should be initiated to work out problems with IT and connectivity and other concerns involving teleECHO.

In addition, the program should provide mini-grants to local communities to offset expenses with hardware integration and be used to connect to the South Dakota ECHO hub which should be implemented by the end of 2018.

Also, the state should modernize the use and effectiveness of the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) One suggestion is to integrate the PDMP with EHRs in the three major health systems in the state and at the same time, explore the integration of the PDMP with South Dakota’s “Health Link”.

Several of the divisions within the Department of Health and other state and community-based agencies should create and support a data collection and an outcome assessment dashboard to identify opportunities to help the state intervene effectively.

It is also important to expand access to Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) across the state via enhanced referral systems and linkages to in-person and virtual MAT clinics. Hopefully this initiative could be launched by June 2018.

The goal should be to finalize requirements for statewide MAT access with emphasis on telehealth delivery of care within primary care clinics, emergency departments, plus provide case management for patients referred to community providers.

Much of the access and connection to resources and information related to dealing with addiction, should be made through a call center. The purpose for the call center would be to identify information and resources, identify trained staff to give advice on opioid use and abuse, and to make referrals to community providers. It is anticipated that a vendor would be selected to establish the call center by March 2018.

Go to to view the document “South Dakota’s Statewide Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis” issued October 2017.


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