Abstract| Volume 61, ISSUE 3, P669, March 2021

Safe Opioid Education and Disposal in the Home Hospice Setting (QI732)


      • 1.
        Examine the background and need for safe opioid disposal in home hospice and the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act.
      • 2.
        Compare opioid disposal systems available for home hospice programs.
      • 3.
        Discuss one completed pilot program strategy for home hospice opioid disposal and expansion to state-wide adoption of guidelines.


      Mandates set forth in the federal SUPPORT bill emphasize safe disposal of unused medications, prescription monitoring, education, and treatment. Specifically, the SUPPORT bill directs hospice employees to safely dispose of medications in the home once they are no longer needed. Individual states are charged with further clarification to these new requirements in the coming months. Further, it is clear that interdisciplinary team members need more education and a comprehensive protocol for opioid disposal; documentation is critical and must be timely to best alleviate risks associated with safe opioid use in the community.

      Aim Statement

      Launch a pilot project for opioid disposal at one, large non-profit hospice for safe opioid disposal including education for hospice staff and family caregivers and tracking of opioid disposal outcomes.


      Descriptive statistics of opioids disposed of in the community and gathering feedback from interdisciplinary team members and family caregivers of home hospice patients.


      The hospice safely disposed of 150.6 pounds of opioids in the community over 23 months and feedback from the interdisciplinary team (physicians, nurses, social workers and chaplains) and family caregivers suggested the program was extremely useful and user friendly in this fragile patient population.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Development of best practices in providing virtual support and education to hospice clinical team members and family caregivers regarding opioid disposal in the home is essential and possible. A second quality improvement project is now underway to evaluate a modified virtual version of this training disseminated to a state coalition of hospices.