In 2017, the Vancouver BOOST Collaborative was launched in partnership between the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) with the aim of systematically implementing, measuring and sharing best-practices in oral opioid agonist therapy (OAT). Twenty teams from across the Vancouver Community participated in this quality improvement initiative. Participants were from a range of health care practices: primary care, mental health/substance use, stabilization clinics and outreach/intensive case management.
Vancouver BOOST teams made significant progress in identifying areas of improvement and implementing changes with a focus on initiation and retention of OAT. Changes to improve access to care included identifying clients lost to care, improving intake forms and adding reminder or follow-up calls for appointments. As a result, there was a significant increase in the number of individuals retained in OAT at the three-month mark—from three out of ten to seven out of ten.
“Programs that help to meet clients where they are and address their needs effectively are fundamental to our progress against HIV with the Treatment as Prevention strategy,” said Dr. Julio Montaner, BC-CfE Executive Director and Physician-in-Chief. “The achievements of the Vancouver BOOST Collaborative show the benefits in applying these principles to improving care and quality of life for individuals with opioid use disorder.”