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Opioid Resources & Workgroup Calls

Objectives of this workgroup include:

  • To commit to reviewing opioid prescribing practices within each participating practice
  • To review, understand, and adapt several tools already available toward improving opioid prescribing practices (e.g. the CDC Opioid Prescribing Guidelines for Chronic Pain, opioid risk assessment tools/methods, opioid treatment agreement, monitoring and follow up with patients)
  • To implement an opioid prescribing protocol in each participating practice and encourage clinicians to “take the pledge
  • To share resources and learn from each other (see Appendix B for links to relevant resources), including sharing of stories within VCSQI and TCPi.
TED Talk Worth Watching: The Agony of Opioid Withdrawal and What Doctors Should Tell Patients About It

TED Talk Worth Watching: The Agony of Opioid Withdrawal and What Doctors Should Tell Patients About It

Here is a link to a TED Talk “The Agony of Opioid Withdrawal and What Doctors Should Tell Patients About It” shared in a recent CMS  Patient & Family Engagement webinar. It’s 13 minutes long and emphasizes how easily patients can overuse prescribed opioids and how difficult it can be to stop taking this medication, here’s a detailed article: are edibles legal for you.


Opioid Pain Management: Expert Presentations March 15, 2018

View 3 presentations from VCSQI Meeting in Richmond, Va.

Opioid Pain Management: From Practice to Regulation & Back Again, Barbara Allison-Bryan, MD, Va. Dept. of Health Professions


 There and Back Again: An Opioid Tale, Marc Huntoon, MD, Virginia Commonwealth University, Director of Pain Management, Orthopaedic and Wellness Center


Patient Safety Initiatives & Next Steps for VCSQI, Deborah (Nadzam) Melnyk, PhD, RN, FAAN, VCSQI SAN 2.0 Project Director


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April 28 — DEA’s Take Back Day, Opportunity for Americans to Prevent Drug Misuse & Deaths

April 28 — DEA’s Take Back Day, Opportunity for Americans to Prevent Drug Misuse & Deaths

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands. That’s dangerous and often tragic.

The DEA’s Take Back Day provides an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths. Let’s clean out our medicine cabinets and turn in – safely and anonymously – a record amount of prescription drugs.

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March 15 – Regulations & Guidelines; Use of Risk Tool; How to Have the Difficult Conversation with a Patient

From Practice to Regulation and Back Again

Presented by Barbara Allison-Bryan, MD, Virginia Department of Health Professions, and Marc Huntoon, MD, Virginia Commonwealth University Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Management Specialist at VCSQI March 15, 2018 Quarterly Meeting in Richmond, Va. Includes Virginia’s national leadership efforts to impact prescribing practices and evidence-based pain management practices including “Use of Risk Tool in Assessment” and “How to Have the Difficult Conversation with a Patient.”

February 22 Workgroup – CDC Prescribing Guidelines; Cardiovascular Surgery Practice Steps to Create Guidelines

The VCSQI SAN 2.0 Opioid Workgroup reviewed CDC’s Guidelines for Opioid Prescribing for Chronic Non-Cancer pain and how these recommendations may assist you with establishing your own guidelines for other types of patients.  Twelve recommendations are outlined, categorized into three major topics: when to prescribe opioids, how to prescribe opioids, and assessing the patient’s risk when using opioids.

Recommendation 6 may be particularly relevant to prescribers treating acute pain:

Long-term opioid use often begins with treatment of acute pain. When opioids are used for acute pain, clinicians should prescribe the lowest effective dose of immediate-release opioids and should prescribe no greater quantity than needed for the expected duration of pain severe enough to require opioids. Three days or less will often be sufficient; more than seven days will rarely be needed. You should definitely check it out

Steve Dickson, CEO for Cardiovascular Surgeons, PA, Orlando, Fla. shares how their practice is working to standardize opioid prescribing practices among their clinicians.  Ivan Berkel and Eddie Fonner recently made a site visit sinkki testosteroni there to help them in this process. This discussion may help you begin to take your own steps for addressing this critically important care process. Visit https://maskulinum.se/.


Steve Dickson, CEO, Cardiovascular Surgeons, PA, explains efforts to standardize prescribing among 12 surgeons and other clinicians in their practice in Orlando, Florida.

Click here to read Cardiovascular Surgeons, PA, opioid prescribing practice improvement success story.

Links to Resources:


Join the Effort to Reduce the Opioid Misuse Epidemic!

Join the Effort to Reduce the Opioid Misuse Epidemic!

Our President has declared the opioid crisis in the United States a “national public health emergency” and announced initiatives to address the epidemic. Here are resources for your reference in reassessing your prescribing practices “to do no harm.”  Have conversations to alert patients to safely dispose of unused pain medication. It’s been reported that 55 percent of abusers obtain painkillers from a friend or relative!

Addressing the Opioid Misuse Crisis is a priority of VCSQI SAN 2.0 and CMS!

“Impacting the Opioid Crisis through Improved Prescribing Practices”

In this one-hour VCSQI SAN 2.0 sponsored webinar Dr. Jared Skillings from American Psychological Association and Dr. Robert Bales, Family Medicine Cleveland Clinic and Assistant Professor of Family Medicine provide an overview of the crisis, current trends, general considerations when prescribing opioids, and non-pharmacological pain management techniques.

Click here for the October 24, 2017 Webinar Recording. 

Check Out These Recent Opioid-related Releases from CDC

Rx Awareness Campaign

With the tagline “It only takes a little to lose a lot,” the Rx Awareness Campaign tells the real stories of people whose lives were torn apart by prescription opioids. The goal of the campaign is to increase awareness that prescription opioids can be addictive and dangerous.

Here is a social media kit with sharable resources.

CDC Web Feature:  Rx Awareness – Impact of an Epidemic     

Click here to read more about how we can work together to share stories of Americans whose lives have been impacted by the opioid misuse epidemic.

New Opioid Overdose Materials for Patients

CDC released several new patient-centered materials for patient education about opioid use.  These materials are free and available for download.

  • What You Need to Know outlines the differences in acute and chronic pain and what you need to know when prescribed opioids for acute pain management.
  • Get the Facts Infographic highlights important information about acute pain management for common conditions and injuries.
  • Know the Signs. Save a Life. This is a resource that identifies factors that can increase the risk of overdose and steps to prevent overdose and death.

New Provider Training Module:  Communicating with Patients

Click here to learn effective communications strategies to promote healthy dialogue with patients regarding benefits and harms of opioids.  

Click here for the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.

Avoid Payment Penalties and Improve Quality of Care

Learn how VCSQI SAN 2.0 will help your practice transform in the new Quality Payment Program.

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