The Refill: How Anesthesiologists, Pain Medicine Specialists Can Demonstrate Value — Part 1

The Patient Experience Domain is assessed using the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. HCAHPS consists of 32 questions, publicly reports its results 4 times a year on, and contains 7 questions that directly or indirectly relate to pain.

These changes have forced us to evaluate how we as anesthesiologists and pain medicine specialists positively impact the patient experience and add value. We can take the lead in developing multimodal perioperative pain management protocols. For total joint arthroplasty, many of these protocols emphasize opioid-sparing regional anesthesia techniques such as peripheral nerve blocks and perineural catheters.

These techniques decrease patients’ reliance on opioids for postoperative pain management and are also associated with fewer opioid-related side effects, better sleep, and higher satisfaction. In addition, greater selectivity in the nerve block technique included in a multimodal protocol may even lead to greater functional achievement for total knee arthroplasty patients. More effective pain management can prevent inadvertent admissions or readmissions due to pain. In addition, an effective opioid-reducing multimodal analgesic protocol can directly or indirectly prevent hospital-acquired conditions such as urinary and vascular catheter-related infections, surgical site infections, thromboembolic complications, pressure ulcers, and inpatient falls leading to injury.