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Monday Memo
Monday Memo
Monday, September 19, 2016
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Crucial Conversations: Opioids in American Healthcare

  1. Do you think Patient Satisfaction survey questions cause over-prescribing of opioid medications?
  2. Do you think removing patient satisfaction survey questions will solve the opioid epidemic in America?
  3. Will removal of patient satisfaction survey questions on pain management lead to under-treatment of pain in the future?
  4. Do healthcare providers teach pain management alternatives to help patients cope with pain?
  5. Do healthcare providers have curial conversations with patients about the risks of opioid addiction and encourage utilization of non-opioid pain management strategies?

Recently Hospitals and Health Networks published an article from the American Hospital Association (AHA) identifying six key roles institutions can play in addressing the opioid epidemic.

Along with monitoring patients following surgery to look out for over-sedation and respiratory depression related to opioids administered through IV, the association urges hospitals to review policies concerning these roles:

  1. Ensuring clinician education about and oversight of appropriate prescribing practices, which includes patient education
  2. Offering treatment and referrals for patients with substance use disorder
  3. Making sure that patients treated for substance use disorder are properly discharged
  4. Handling individuals with drug-seeking behavior in the emergency department appropriately, which includes the use of prescription monitoring programs
  5. Reviewing opioid alternatives to pain management
  6. Safeguarding prescription opioids against diversion

[H & HN, June 7 2016]

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Tips from our featured course

Pain Management: Not a New Phenomenon

Pain and the suffering it causes is not a new phenomenon. Pain management has been made difficult by a number of factors including:

  • Subjective definition and nature of pain
  • Lack of understanding
  • Misconceptions about drug addiction

The legacy of health care practitioners as they draw to the close of the "decade of pain" will be in how the challenges of pain management and relief are met.

[Pain Management, Module B, Acute Pain]

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Pain Relief to Enhance Quality of Life

The use of pharmacological agents is the mainstay of therapy for acute pain.

It is important to keep in mind that while a pain-free state may not be achievable for the patient with chronic pain, the goal(s) are to:

  • Optimize pain control
  • Enhance quality of life
  • Minimize adverse effects
  • Minimize costs

Many people with chronic pain can be helped if they understand all the causes of pain and the many and varied steps that can be taken to undo what chronic pain has done. Scientists believe that advances in neuroscience will lead to more and better treatments for chronic pain in the years to come.

[Pain Management, Module C, Chronic Pain]

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Notice from the Publisher

I want to thank our 20,000 healthcare professionals for requesting new topics on Athena Forum.

Thanks,
Thomas A. Rasmussen
CEO & Publisher
Athena Forum Institute

Monday Memo Editor

Cathy Wright, BSN, RN

Clinical Editor

Athena Forum

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