Because opioid dependency starts with the first dose, the innovative ALTO® program uses non-addicting, evidence-based alternatives that have a significant safety profile so clinicians never have to give the first dose – thereby avoiding any risk of addiction.
Alternative therapies offered through the St. Joseph’s ALTO® program including targeted non-opioid medications, trigger point injections, nitrous oxide, and ultrasound guided nerve blocks to tailor patient pain management needs and avoid opioids whenever possible.
Initial results of the St. Joseph’s ALTO® program are very promising. Up to 75% of patients have achieved adequate pain relief with alternative therapies and there has been a decrease in opioid use by 82% since the inception of the program.
Successful examples of the ALTO® program using alternatives to manage acute pain include kidney stone patients treated with intravenous lidocaine (that not only relieves the kidney stone pain but also allows for easier passage of the stone), back pain patients treated with trigger-point injections, and long-bone fracture patients treated with ultrasound-guided nerve blocks. Receptor management strategies are also utilized to block pain at the receptor site without the need for opioids.
The ALTO® Program uses targeted non-opioid medications, trigger point injections, nitrous oxide, and ultrasound guided nerve blocks to tailor its patients’ pain management needs and avoid opioids whenever possible, for example, in cases of kidney stones, acute low back pain, broken bones, acute headache and migraine pain.
A model for other hospitals and healthcare providers nationwide, the Emergency Department at St. Joseph’s – the busiest ED in New Jersey with more than 160,000 patient visits in 2016 – is an innovator in Emergency Medicine, having established such programs as the first Geriatric Emergency Department in the US, the first ED-based Palliative Care Program (Life Sustaining Management and Alternatives) in the US, and now, the ALTO® program.