Development and validation of health system performance measures for opioid use disorder in British Columbia, Canada

B. Nosyk, J. E. Min, L. A. Pearce, H. Zhou, F. Homayra, L. Wang, M. Piske, D. McCarty, G. Gardner, W. O'Briain, E. Wood, P. Daly, T. Walsh, B. Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Performance measurement provides an evidence-based means to inform development of interventions to improve the quality of care for people who use opioids. We aimed to develop and assess the predictive validity of health system performance measures for opioid use disorder (OUD) in British Columbia (BC), Canada. Methods: Performance measures were generated using retrospective population-level administrative datasets (both provincial and regional) and publicly-reported retrospective data according to four domains (care engagement, clinical guideline compliance, integration, and healthcare utilization). The adjusted odds ratio was estimated via generalized linear mixed models to determine predictive validity for all-cause hospitalization or mortality within 6 months of measurement. Findings: A total of 102 performance measures were constructed. We identified 55,470 diagnosed PWOUD, and 39,456 ever engaged in opioid agonist treatment (OAT). We found divergent rates of treatment for concurrent conditions (7.4% for alcohol use disorder to 80.1% for HIV/AIDS), low levels of linkage to OAT and other outpatient care following acute care, and increasing levels of service provision, including increases in OAT prescribers and pharmacies, naloxone kit distribution and overdose prevention site visitation. Our analyses on the predictive validity measures largely supported a priori hypotheses on the direction of effect on the outcome. Conclusions: We identified a range of priorities to improve the quality of care for PWOUD, with critical gaps in linkage to care through acute care settings and long-term engagement in OAT. The proposed measures can be derived for geographic and clinical subgroups and updated over time, providing a basis to monitor and evaluate efforts to address the public health burden of OUD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109375
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Health care quality improvement
  • Opioid agonist treatment
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Performance measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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