Drug overdoses play a major role in the nation’s behavioral health crisis. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during a 12-month period ending in April 2021, there were 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the U.S., about a 28.5% increase from the previous year.

Like many other states, Delaware was not immune to the effects of the opioid crisis.

The following is an excerpt, with updated statistics, from our 2021 Annual Impact Report.

With the nation’s second-highest drug overdose mortality rate in 2019, Delaware’s Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health needed a referral system that encompassed the entire continuum of behavioral health services. The Delaware Treatment and Referral Network (DTRN), powered by Bamboo Health’s cloud-based OpenBeds platform, now facilitates rapid digital referrals and fosters collaboration among mental health, SUD, and medical providers.

In its first year of the initiative, Delaware’s digital network for expedited patient referrals to inpatient and residential behavioral health programs sparked a 45% increase in treatment referral requests and improved the rapid acknowledgment of referrals by 25%. The DTRN also facilitated 20,924 treatment referrals in the first year, 75% of which were for inpatient services. More than half of these referrals specifically noted substance abuse.

With all communication now digital rather than manual, the DTRN has improved response rates to referral requests as well. A full 65% of receiving organizations now acknowledge a patient referral within 30 minutes, an increase of 25% since the program’s inception. The state uses the DTRN to identify service gaps, target funding, and evaluate behavioral health and substance abuse programs in its ongoing efforts to curb the opioid crisis and provide appropriate care for impacted patients.

Now after three years of partnership with Bamboo Health on the OpenBeds solution, the State of Delaware has realized remarkable results:

  • As 2021 ended, the DTRN hit an outstanding new milestone: 100,000 referrals. This represents 100,000 opportunities to improve the lives of citizens.
  • About 60% of referrals have been for inpatient services, with around half of referrals specially noting substance use disorder.
  • By assisting providers with the onboarding process to encourage adoption, Delaware expanded the number of active users on its referral network by 264% in the first year. The variety of distinct services offered by receiving organizations expanded in the first year as well, growing from 40 to 109—a 173% increase.

Bamboo Health is proud to play a critical role in helping Delaware’s Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health and its service providers with this effort. For clinical staff, social workers, administrators, peers, and countless others who serve individuals with behavioral health conditions, the DTRN – powered by OpenBeds – has allowed for renewed focus on patients to transform the lives of patients and their families.

To read our full 2021 Annual Impact Report, click here.