Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Perinatal Addiction Treatment Program is using a grant from the March of Dimes to create an online toolkit for hospitals and health centers that want consistent guidelines and a systematic approach to care. For example, the toolkit includes consent forms that enable a patient’s addiction treatment provider and medical care team to share information and work together.
“Providers were saying, ‘I feel like my patients have two different health care teams — they have their addiction treatment provider and they have their perinatal health care team, and the two don’t talk to each other. This is not a safe situation,'” said project coordinator Daisy Goodman.
Officials estimate about 10 percent of newborns in New Hampshire’s Upper Connecticut Valley region are exposed to opioids before birth. While that number has increased, knowledge about how to treat them also has significantly improved, Goodman said.
Participating sites include Dartmouth-Hitchcock clinics in Lebanon, Claremont and New London; Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, Memorial Hospital in Conway, Manchester Health Center and Maine’s Waldo County General Hospital.