Project POINT (Planned Outreach, Intervention, Naloxone, and Treatment)

An emergency department-initiated intervention in Indianapolis grounded in recovery coaching, harm reduction, and linkage to evidence-based treatment

Recognizing the presentation of a nonfatal overdose in the emergency department (ED) as a vital touchpoint to provide evidence-based interventions, Project POINT (Planned Outreach, Intervention, Naloxone, and Treatment) began in 2015 as a quality improvement initiative at the Eskenazi Emergency Department in collaboration with Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Midtown Mental Health, and researchers at Indiana University. The model has been replicated in other ED's in Indianapolis.

A member of the POINT team (a recovery coach or care coordinator with specialized training) meets with patients after they have presented to the ED with an opioid overdose. Following a model of patient-centered care, team members offer a range of evidence-based services including a brief assessment of high-risk behaviors, Hepatitis C and HIV testing, harm reduction counseling informed by motivational interviewing, and treatment referrals with follow-up to either a provider for medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), detoxification services, or an inpatient treatment setting. 

This program aims to build off of previous ED-initiated interventions by adding recovery coaches to increase long-term engagement in treatment and other services. 

The goals of Project POINT are: 

  • Increase access to naloxone among high risk patients
  • Provide a brief intervention and harm reduction information
  • Link people to treatment and other services
  • Investigate barriers to accessing treatment
  • Collect data
  • Use data to improved services in the ED and linkage to care

More detailed information on the program and contact information can be found in presentations here and here and here

Project POINT is currently involved in a clinical trial and has been described in the peer-reviewed literature. The program has also had a preliminary evaluation.  

Aims to build off of previous emergency department-initiated interventions by adding recovery coaches to increase long-term engagement in treatment and other services. 

Continuum of Care
Harm Reduction
Type of Evidence
Response Approach
Medications for Opioid Use Disorder
Overdose prevention
Post-overdose response
Recovery coaching
Peer-reviewed Article

Evidence of Program Effectiveness

This program is based on sound scientific rationale and is currently undergoing a clinical trial. Further implementation of the protocol can be found in the peer-reviewed literature

"A difference-in-difference analysis of electronic health record data was completed to understand the difference in outcomes for patients admitted to the ED when a POINT staff member was working versus times when they were not...The POINT arm had a significant increase in MOUD prescriptions dispensed, non-MOUD prescriptions dispensed, and naloxone access (all p-values < 0.001)...The results support the assertion that POINT is meeting its two primary goals related to increasing naloxone access and connecting patients to MOUD." (Watson et al., 2021)