Here are key points of new standards

According to new pain management standards developed by the Oakbrook Terrace, IL-based Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, your ED will be called upon to:

• Recognize the right of patients to appropriate assessment and management of pain.

• Assess the existence and, if existing, the nature and intensity of pain in all patients.

• Record the results of the assessment in a way that facilitates regular reassessment and follow-up.

• Determine and ensure staff competency in pain assessment and management.

• Address pain assessment and management in the orientation of all new staff.

• Establish policies and procedures that support the appropriate prescription or ordering of effective pain medications.

• Educate patients and their families about effective pain management.

• Address patient needs for symptom management in the discharge planning process.


The pain management standards are available on the Joint Commission’s Web site, Click on "For Health Care Organizations and Professionals." On the next page, click on "Standards" in the top bar. This will take you to the standards page that includes a link to the pain management standards.

The 2000 Standards Manual for Hospitals, which includes the new pain management standards, is available for $95 plus $9.95 for shipping and handling. A videotape resource, Complying with the New Pain Management Standards, is available for $295 plus $17.95 for shipping and handling. To purchase, contact:

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, Customer Service, One Renaissance Blvd., Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181-4924. Telephone: (630) 792-5800 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Time on weekdays. Fax: (800) 676-3299. E-mail:

Single copies of pain management guidelines, Quality Improvement Guidelines for the Treatment of Acute Pain and Cancer, are available for free from the American Pain Society. To request a copy, contact the American Pain Society, 4700 W. Lake Ave., Glenview, IL 60025. Telephone: (847) 375-4715. Fax: (847) 375-4777. E-mail: Web:

Single copies of consensus statements on the Basic Principles of Ethics for the Practice of Pain Medicine, The Necessity of Early Evaluation of the Chronic Pain Patient, and the Use of Opioids for Treatment of Chronic Pain are available at no charge. Single copies of brochures on Acute Pain and Cancer Pain, A Brief Guide to Pain Medicine, and A Patient’s Guide to Pain Medicines are also available at no charge. Packs of 50 are available for $20 plus $3 shipping and handling charge per order. For more information, contact:

American Academy of Pain Medicine, 4700 W. Lake Ave., Glenview, IL 60025. Telephone: (847) 375-4731. Fax: (847) 375-6331. E-mail: Web: