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What is a sentinel hospital? Why does DAWN include sentinel hospitals?

  • In DAWN, a sentinel hospital is defined as a large urban hospital selected from a high-priority sentinel area. A high priority sentinel area is defined as counties with high mortality and morbidity associated with opioid, cocaine, and psychostimulant overdose.
  • Sentinel hospitals are expected to yield cases of concern, allowing for the collection and analysis of data quickly so a plan of action for addressing key and emerging problems can be developed. Therefore, DAWN includes 10 sentinel hospitals selected by SAMHSA across the nation.
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