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Purpose: To characterize emergency department (ED) staff regard toward opioid use disorder (OUD) and analyze variation based on job category. The closure of Hahnemann Hospital, in combination with the increasing prevalence of OUD, is exacerbating the previously inadequate network of resources for these patients. Jefferson is strategically positioned to improve the care provided to this patient population, especially in an ED setting, and ultimately increase linkage to long-term recovery programs.

Methods: Sentiment toward this patient population was measured utilizing the Medical Condition Regard Survey (MCRS). This questionnaire was previously validated to subjectively, but quantitatively, assess regard toward a defined patient population with scores ranging from 11 (lowest regard) to 66 (highest regard). Scores were collected for 425 ED employees, of which 303 were classified as providers and 70 as non-clinical staff. Given the variety of healthcare professionals involved in treating patients in the ED, the targeted population of potential learners is broad and encompassing.

Results and Conclusions: While the average MCRS score of 47.3 ± 8.4 is relatively positive and generally consistent across job categories, there is significant variation in scores between individuals. The inconsistency of sentiment toward OUD among Jefferson ED staff is highlighted by MCRS scores at both the positive and negative extremes. Interestingly, most patients usually only interact with a single individual in each job role, reinforcing the potential for inconsistent care. This information will inform the development of educational materials to target shortcomings, highlight strengths and improve staff competency in successfully treating these patients.