Pain Perceptions Vary Depending on Patient

Clinical Pain Advisor interviewed Dr. Amy Baxter for "The Refill," a Q&A column designed to provide readers with various opinions, beliefs and suggestions on managing a pain management practice.

Clinicians treating patients for pain may not always review each case individually, and this approach could potentially lead to patient dissatisfaction, a challenge some healthcare professionals are facing in pain management.

“People’s perceptions of different sensations are something only they can perceive, and my job is to make them more comfortable,” said Dr. Amy Baxter, MD.

Dr. Baxter is the CEO and founder of Buzzy, a physiologic pain blocker. She is a pediatric emergency physician, and she publishes and lectures internationally on pain, procedural sedation, and healthcare.

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Clinical Pain Advisor interviewed her for “The Refill,” a Q&A column designed to provide readers with various opinions, beliefs and suggestions on managing a pain management practice.

Clinical Pain Advisor: What is the biggest challenge to your practice?

Dr. Amy Baxter: Making people aware of how powerful the body’s own physiology can be difficult. We take for granted things like rubbing a bumped elbow, or putting a burn under cold water, but these are powerful pain reducers. Harnessing the body’s systems for pain relief is a critical tool to decrease pain.

CPA: How have you been impacted by the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?

AB: Actually, we’ve benefited as a company from the ACA. Hospitals are more accountable to address pain, and our Buzzy needle pain products are by far the least expensive and fastest way to address needle pain. After one hospital introduced Buzzy, they finally got their pain HCAHP scores into the green. Being fast and low-waste, as well as low cost, is more important now since the ACA, so it’s a great time to be working in the reusable medical pain relief space

CPA: How do you market your practice?

AB: I speak wherever possible about the dramatic rise in needle fear and the problems of prescription pain dependence. Not dependence on opioids — dependence on only addressing pain pharmacologically, rather than addressing improving control and reducing fear.

CPA: What other revenue sources are you investigating in order to offset the drop in reimbursements?

AB: I practice in procedural sedation, so our procedures are preapproved.

CPA: How has your opioid prescribing habits changed?

AB: I’m now just recommending ibuprofen for acute pain when it’s not contraindicated.

Interested in being featured in “The Refill”? Email CJ Arlotta at cj.arlotta”at”