By Jonathan Springston, Associate Managing Editor, AHC Media

A nonprofit healthcare group and a federal agency teamed up on a new resource they believe will foster better communication between patients and healthcare providers on opioid prescriptions.

The American Hospital Association and the CDC on June 7 released “Prescription Opioids: What You Need to Know,” a one-page document outlining who needs opioid prescriptions, explaining the risks such drugs pose, and providing a framework in which doctors and patients can discuss pill alternatives.

“Every day, hospitals see how misuse of and overdose from prescription opioids affect patients’ families, loved ones, and communities,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack in a statement. “We want patients to have open, honest conversations with their care providers about the best way to manage pain. The goal is to help patients manage their pain and continue to lead healthy, productive lives.”

This resource is part of the growing discussion among healthcare professionals, government officials, and patients about the opioid epidemic and how to stop it. Recently, the FDA approved an implant for the maintenance treatment of opioid addiction. Be sure to read the July issue of Pharmacology Watch and the June 30 issue of Internal Medicine Alert for much more information about this breakthrough.

It's part of AHC Media's ongoing, year-long coverage of the opioid crisis. The cover story of June ED Management digs deeper into an innovative program by doctors in New Jersey who are want to prevent acute pain from becoming chronic, thereby reducing the need for pain pills.

Additionally, AHC Media offers a quartet of on-demand webinars related to not only opioid safety but also medication integrity. In particular, “Safe Opioid Use: Meeting the CMS CoP Hospital Requirements” explains the revised standards on safe opioid use, IV medication and blood transfusion as well as the ISMP IV Push guidelines for adults. You can access more details here, here, and here.