WQ3: Are you prescribing opioids inappropriately?

Presentation Notes

Session presented at 2016 Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Annual Spring Conference Abstracts; May 3, 2016; Minneapolis, MN.


Despite controversial efficacy of opioids for chronic noncancer pain (CNCP), opioid use has dramatically risen over the past decade. Given that inappropriate opioid use is associated with harmful health and social-related consequences, adherence to guidelines is essential for safer, more appropriate CNCP management. This session will describe an ongoing quality improvement project developed to assess the level of appropriateness on opioid use for CNCP based on recommendations from our state medical board. A retrospective pre-intervention assessment of 200 adult CNCP patients on opioids treatment for at least 90 consecutive days was conducted in two primary care, residency-based clinics. Demographic and health information were collected, and an opioid level of appropriateness score was calculated based on documentation of nine items. A focus group explored major challenges providers face when diagnosing and treating CNCP. The intervention phase was comprised of opioid lecture series, development of electronic medical record tools to facilitate caring for patients with CNCP, use of different media channels to promote safer opioid prescribing, and regular discussions about this topic at faculty and resident meetings.

Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  1. List tools to educate and promote safer use and monitoring of opioids for chronic noncancer pain (CNCP).
  2. Evaluate the appropriateness of opioid use for chronic noncancer pain (CNCP), utilizing the tools discussed in the presentation.
  3. Implement or develop tools for the evaluation of baseline knowledge, compliance, and attitudes surrounding the management of chronic noncancer pain (CNCP) in their residency program.

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