Naloxone Vending Machine Now Available in Michigan Medicine Adult Emergency Department
On Wednesday, October 11th, OPEN and Michigan Medicine officially launched access to a new Naloxone Vending Machine in the Adult Emergency Department waiting room. This vending machine is free to the public and allows community members access to Narcan, an intranasal form of naloxone.
“Michigan Medicine has been wonderful to work with on this project,” said Ellie English, a Clinical Implementation Specialist with OPEN. “The goal is to increase access to this life saving medication and get it in the hands of people who need it.”
“Christian Carlson, a pharmacist on our pharmacy team, and Eve Losman, a physician champion, collaborated with OPEN and MEDIC to figure out how to make this project safe and successful. Everybody on this team played a role in making this happen,” added Dr. Gina Dahlem, Clinical Associate Professor at University of Michigan School of Nursing.
Completing this pilot project is an important step in reducing the impact of the opioid epidemic. After the vending machine was opened, it was in need of restocking four days later. “It was surprising to us that it went so quickly, but we are so excited to see that people are using this machine and reacting positively to it,” said English. “To our knowledge, this is the first naloxone vending machine implemented in an emergency department in Michigan, which is really exciting.”
“There is a great demand for it, the more people who are trained and equipped means the more people who can save a life,” said Dr. Dahlem. “We are hoping to set a precedent that other hospitals follow.” English added “We have our OPEN/MEDIC ED Naloxone Distribution program, but patients can only leave with it prescribed. This project opens doors for us to expand access and get naloxone to even more people.”
Going forward, the team hopes to expand access to naloxone by implementing more vending machines in emergency departments across the state. “We would love to continue to expand. We would love to continue placing these machines in emergency departments across Michigan,” ended English.