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The Society of Hospital Medicine Honors Dell Medical School’s Buprenorphine Team With 2022 Award of Excellence: Teamwork in Quality Improvement

April 18, 2022

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Representing the fastest-growing specialty in modern healthcare, the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) is the leading medical society for hospitalists and their patients.

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Hospitalist-Led Interprofessional Team Has Transformed Internal Organizational Culture and Standard of Care Managing Opioid Use Disorder

The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) recently announced the recipients of its 2022 Awards of Excellence, honoring hospitalists who exemplify hospital medicine best practices in areas such as clinical leadership, teaching, teamwork, research, and humanitarian services, among others.

“Hospitalists have always been known as innovators in medicine and contribute to improving patient care at their institutions in unique ways,” explains Eric E. Howell, MD, MHM, Chief Executive Officer of SHM. “This year’s Awards of Excellence winners exemplify what it means to be leaders in the field and showcase the many ways that hospitalists are positively impacting the future of healthcare.”

The Buprenorphine Team (“B-Team”) at Dell Seton Medical Center and Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin received this year’s award in the “Excellence in Teamwork in Quality Improvement” category. This hospitalist-led interprofessional team has worked over the past four years to transform internal organizational culture and the standard of care for recognizing and managing opioid use disorder (OUD) in the hospital setting. The B-Team was the first program of its kind in Texas and one of few in the country to empower hospitalists to treat OUD as a routine part of acute hospitalization.

The team, including hospitalists, psychiatrists, palliative care practitioners, social workers, nurses, pharmacists, chaplains, and people with lived experience was founded in 2017 to identify patients with OUD, start buprenorphine therapy for interested patients, implement hospital-based harm reduction strategies, link patients directly to addiction care after discharge, and provide institutional education to reduce stigma of patients with substance use disorders. The B-Team has systematically engaged team members at five additional hospitals across Texas to work as a collaborative team to expand access to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) for hospitalized patients.

Moving forward, the team will work on expanding the program to additional substance use disorder diagnoses. The emphasis on teamwork and collaboration allowed our partner hospitals to increase statewide institutional knowledge and comfort with buprenorphine and other MOUD. The B-Team presents a highly effective model that has proven to be transferrable using existing hospital resources.

Awards of Excellence winners were recognized at SHM’s annual conference, SHM Converge, which was held from April 7-10, 2022, in Nashville, TN. For more information on SHM’s Awards of Excellence, visit