Guidelines for Inpatient Pain Management May Lead to Safer Opioid Prescribing

doctor writing prescription
doctor writing prescription
An interdisciplinary work group has developed new guidelines for inpatient pain management that was perceived as helpful by clinicians.

LAS VEGAS — An interdisciplinary work group has developed a set of new guidelines for inpatient pain management that was perceived as helpful by clinicians for facilitating short-term improvement in opioid prescribing practices, according to research presented at PAINWeek 2019, held September 3-7 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

An interdisciplinary work group from OhioHealth, a regional multi-hospital system, convened to develop a set of pain management guidelines focused on improving prescriber comfort with pain management in patients with and without suspected opioid use disorder. Over the course of several weeks, the group developed 2 guidelines for the management of acute and chronic pain in inpatients. Educational tips are also included as endnotes.

The hospital medicine clinical guidance council has approved these guidelines, which are now available to prescribers in the OhioHealth system. The guidelines aim to increase the use of opioid and non-opioid pain management-focused order sets and the adoption of developed pain pathways. An electronic survey system was used to assess the effect of the guidelines on pain management in clinical practice.

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Between May 2017 and October 2017, 156 surveys with 8 questions each were distributed. A majority of responses (61.32%) suggested that the guidelines would change clinical practice, and 88% of respondents reported that they were willing to adhere to the guidelines. The use of opioid pain management-focused order sets was 15.56% at baseline, 16.55% at 1 month, and decreased to 12.28% at 6 months. The use of non-opioid order set was 0.31% at baseline, 0.48% at 1-month follow-up, and 0.57% 6 months after the survey.

“This is just one-step toward providing optimal opioid prescribing for hospitalized patients and allowing hospitalist to safely and optimally prescribe opioids while maintaining current standards of efficiency,” noted the researchers.

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Durell A, Geiger-Hayes J, Parkinson N. Implementation of pragmatic guidelines for inpatient opioid management in a regional multi-hospital system. Presented at: PAINWeek 2019, September 3-7, 2019, Las Vegas, Nevada. Poster 5.