In 2006, the Medical Director of the University of Michigan Emergency Department requested a meeting with the local non-medical detox provider. He very humbly expressed concern that the hospital had been providing inadequate care to people going through alcohol withdrawal and wanted to do better. Together, they developed a protocol that would:
- screen people for risk of seizures due to alcohol withdrawal,
- get them to the emergency department for evaluation and prescription of a 5 day taper that had little diversion potential, and
- get them back to the non-medical detox program that was better able to meet the patient’s needs.
This meeting and protocol has led to improved communication, coordination and care delivery for people with alcohol and drug addiction in the community.