Simply reducing the number of opioid prescriptions is not enough, the report authors wrote. Hospitals must be much more proactive in identifying patients with opioid use disorder and initiating treatment wherever those patients are encountered within the treatment process.
A pair of data-driven quality improvement initiatives are helping Aetna improve care in two different areas. One involves improving oral hygiene to reduce infections; another helps reduce opioid-related deaths by contacting patients after an overdose.
The current opioid crisis generated immediate actions at many levels; regulatory requirements were implemented quickly. However, some of these placed seemingly arbitrary limits on prescribing, even for painful surgical procedures.
These investigators found that the routine use of acetaminophen alone rather than a combination acetaminophen-opioid significantly reduced overall and daily opioid use. In addition, there was no worse effect on overall pain score or length of stay.
This article aims to provide acute care providers with advanced techniques in the management of opioid overdoses, including the use of naloxone, the opioid receptor antagonist, as well as harm reduction management strategies aimed at long-term risk mitigation in this vulnerable population.