VCSQI Survey Results on Opioid Prescribing Practices
Please note, this information was sent to administrative AND clinical contacts of our participating practices. We ask that you discuss this information with your clinicians and consider making improvements to your prescribing practices where indicated.
Thank you to those who completed VCSQI’s survey on Opioid Prescribing Practices. There was a total of 20 responses with interesting results. Twelve of the 20 respondents do have clinicians who prescribe opioids. However only 10 of those 12 practices continued to respond to questions, so other than the inpatient-focused questions, most questions have a denominator of only 10.
We realize that some of our newer practices were not aware of this survey, but still should review the questions as displayed on PPT survey summary slides and consider their answer for each.
- 9/10 do NOT have a standardized opioid prescribing protocol
- 5/10 do NOT assess the patient risk for addiction; 5/10 conduct an interview to assess risk
- 6/10 limit the number of opiate pills prescribed
- 7/10 prescribe more than 5 days of opiate pills
- All 10 follow up with the patient, but the timing varies:
- 3/10 follow up with the patient within 3 days; 2/10 within one week; 5/10 follow up with patients after one week.
- 8/10 do NOT have a signed opioid treatment agreement with the patient
- Most practices with inpatient services manage their patients’ medications during hospitalization and at discharge.
- 4/10 do NOT provide education to the patient/family about the risks associated with taking opioids
- 6/8 do NOT discuss safe disposal of opioids
- 7/10 do NOT use any measures to assess opioid prescribing practices and patient use
These aggregate results suggest that there is an opportunity to share, learn, and improve opioid prescribing practices.
In January we will launch an Opioid Prescribing/Management Workgroup to assist all practices review and improve their prescribing patterns, and to share resources and learn from each other. We’ll set a regular time of the month to hold meetings via phone/video calls. We are interested in representatives from each participating practice.
Please name an individual from your practice who will participate. Even if the individual cannot participate on every call, we’ll at least include them on the email distribution list https://www.heroin.net/ for information and updates about the workgroup’s activities. In addition, we’ll be forming a subgroup of cardiothoracic (CT) surgical clinicians to specifically address opioid prescribing guidelines for CT surgery patients.
We will also keep our website current on this topic. Please simply reply to my email with name/contact information of a representative from your practice, or let Ivan Berkel know when you speak with him next.
Deborah (Nadzam) Melnyk, PhD, RN, FAAN, Project Director
VCSQI SAN 2.0/PTN