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Calling All Doctors, Nurses, Clinicians: Learn Safe Opioid Prescribing in New Innovative Way

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What you need to know

A major new project is looking to engage 1,000 doctors, nurses, residents, pharmacists, case managers and others involved in the care of patients on opioids from across Hackensack Meridian Health. Participants will learn safe opioid prescribing on an innovative digital platform.

Traditional approaches, like lectures, frequently don’t engage the learner. The Gather-ed Model , a collaborative, small-group approach to learning has the potential to be more effective, with greater involvement and learner satisfaction.

Details about the project

The project seeks to enlist and train at least 10 group leaders per month over the next five months in the use of the platform, who in turn will recruit hundreds of clinicians to learn in state-of-the art approaches to safe opioid prescribing, using the blueprint training endorsed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The training, which runs about two months for each group, is designed to flexibly fit in professionals’ busy schedules. Participating as a learner will also fulfill New Jersey’s opioid training requirement for re-licensure for physicians, nurses, APNs and PAs.

The study is funded through an unrestricted grant by the Opioid Analgesic REMS.  Hackensack Meridian Health collaborated with Jefferson Heath, RealCME (a medical education technology company), and MedicusCME, a continuing medical education provider. David Kountz, M.D., MBA, who is the co-chief academic officer for Hackensack Meridian Health, is the lead investigator for HMH.

“Receiving continuing education through social learning platforms may be the way the next generation of health care providers learn,” said Dr. Kountz. “We want to be on the cutting edge of trends in the delivery of education, especially with something so important as opioid prescribing.”

David Kountz, M.D., MBA,

The restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted an extension of the program. Kountz said it may be fortuitous – the project may be needed more than ever in these fraught times.

“As a result of COVID, it’s likely more of our patients are struggling with opioid addiction,” said the doctor. “We’re incorporated these lessons into the content.”

David Kountz, M.D., MBA,

More information

For more information on the study, please contact Dr. Kountz at