By Thomas D. Brothers et al. / Substance Abuse

Many hospitalized patients have illnesses caused by substance use disorders. Inpatient addiction medicine consultation services (AMCS) are associated with improved retention in care and reduced substance use after hospital discharge, and emerging evidence suggests AMCS may be associated with decreased mortality and readmissions among patients who inject drugs. AMCS also provide important learning opportunities. Hospital-based medical trainees care for patients with substance use disorders every day, yet describe insufficient training in addiction medicine.

In order to fill identified gaps in patient care and training experiences, medical trainees at an academic, tertiary care center in Atlantic Canada organized an unofficial AMCS. Here, we describe the implementation and evaluation of the service over the first 16 months. We aimed to assess whether the novel, trainee-run service was (1) acceptable to hospital providers and patients, (2) feasible to organize and deliver, and (3) impacted patient management during and after hospitalization.