Must Reads, Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

5 Questions on Battling the Opioid Epidemic

Reading about the ongoing coverage of the opioid epidemic this past week has prompted the following questions – do you agree or disagree?

Should newborns with opioid withdrawal be kept together with their mothers?

Newborns suffering from opioid withdrawal have traditionally been separated from their mothers.

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Must Reads

Three Must Do’s for Patient Safety

This week’s must reads contain three must do’s for patient safety.

#1 Must Do for Patient Safety – Prescribe opioids in a reasonable manner

Although opioid abuse, misuse and diversion are clearly valid safety concerns, the current environment has resulted in a backlash against the use of opioids, which has led to reluctance on the part of some physicians to prescribe and to difficulty for some patient to filling their opioid prescriptions.

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Opioid Safety, Patient Safety, Respiratory Compromise

We Need to Focus on Patient Safety to Battle the Opioid Epidemic: 5 Key Steps to a More Balanced Approach

Though much of the attention to end the opioid epidemic is centered on the improper use of opioids in the community (misuse, diversion, etc), the truth is that opioid harm exists across a continuum of care. The safe use of opioids begins with the safe use of opioid analgesics in the hospital setting and the prescription of opioids upon discharge of the patient from a healthcare facility. We must first and foremost make sure that opioids provided to patients are done so in a safe manner both during administration and upon discharge.

By Michael Wong, JD (Founder and Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)

Opioid-related deaths are a leading national and community concern. Unfortunately, reports of opioid-related deaths occur with astonishing regularity in our daily news feeds.

Though much of the attention on opioid-related harm is centered on the improper use of opioids in the community (misuse, diversion, etc), the truth is that opioid harm exists across a continuum of care. The safe use of opioids begins with the safe use of opioid analgesics in the hospital setting and the prescription of opioids upon discharge of the patient from a healthcare facility. We must first and foremost make sure that opioids provided to patients are done so in a safe manner both during administration and upon discharge. Read More

Opioid Safety

Opioid Safety Starts with Informed, Mutual Decisions

In March 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain. Giving patients a decision-making role in their pain plan–and providing them with the information they need to arrive at informed mutual decisions–is front and centre in the document. Read More

Must Reads

Patient Safety Weekly Must Reads (December 17, 2016)

This week in #patientsafety, we remember Leah Coufal, an 11-year-old girl who died after experiencing respiratory depression when she received fentanyl following a successful surgery. We also share an infographic showing the U.S. opioid epidemic by the numbers. From around the web, a study finds that clinician performance is the same when the volume of alarms is turned down, an article calls on pharmacists to lead efforts against the opioid epidemic, and an investigative piece calls attention to one company’s shady sales strategy.

Stay warm and happy reading!

From PPAHS:

Opioid Deaths Are (Still) Preventable: Remembering Leah. Leah Coufal died after experiencing opioid-related respiratory depression. We remember Leah on her death anniversary.

The U.S. Opioid Epidemic In Numbers. The PPAHS conducted a survey to gauge how clinicians and the public felt about the Surgeon General’s recommendations to fight the opioid epidemic. Advance for Nurses published an infographic summarizing our early findings.

From Around the Web:

Is It Safe to Turn Down the Volume of Hospital Alarms? New Study Chimes In: ‘Yes’. We wonder whether quieter alarms would have an impact on alarm fatigue.

ASHP Midyear: Pharmacists Can Take Lead on Addressing Opioid Crisis. Our survey found that most clinicians felt doctors should take the lead on addressing the opioid crisis. Perhaps pharmacists could lead it too?

Company gave doctor ‘one of the best nights of his life’ to boost fentanyl sales. Six former executives and sales representatives of one company were arrested following an indictment with allegations of bribery and kickbacks.

Opioid Safety

The U.S. Opioid Epidemic In Numbers

opiod infographic thumbnailOpioid safety is one of the top patient safety concerns in the U.S.; with more than 2 million Americans dependent on opioids, opioid-related harm is an issue that has spans the continuum of clinical and public safety.

On August 25, 2016, the Surgeon General issued a letter to physicians urging them to take a part in combating the opioid epidemic. On the Surgeon General website, healthcare providers are encouraged to help solve the opioid epidemic.

The PPAHS conducted a survey to gauge how clinicians and the public felt about the Surgeon General’s recommendations to fight the opioid epidemic, with results released early November.  Key aspects of the survey were recently featured in an article published by Advance for Nurses.  The Advance Healthcare Network also distilled the survey’s top data points and recommendations. Read More

Opioid Safety

Physicians on Surgeon General’s Letter on Opioid Epidemic: Survey Results

surgeon-general-turn-the-tide

On August 25, 2016, the Surgeon General issued a letter to physicians urging them to take a part in combating the opioid epidemic. On the Surgeon General website, healthcare providers are encouraged to help solve the opioid epidemic:

“Our nation faces an opioid crisis. Health care providers are uniquely positioned to help communities and their patients #TurnTheTide on the opioid epidemic. Providers can be the solution. Join the movement. Sign the pledge.”

To gauge whether clinicians would answer this call and how clinicians and the public felt about the Surgeon General’s recommendations to fight the opioid epidemic, the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) conducted a survey to examine perceptions about the Surgeon General’s appeal to physicians to play an active role in stemming the opioid epidemic. Read More

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Prince and the Opioid Epidemic: 5 Ways for Addressing this National Crisis

Prince was not the first, nor unfortunately the last, person to die due to an opioid-related event. According to the medical examiner, Prince died from a self-administered fentanyl overdose.

While Prince may have become the poster child for the opioid epidemic and a call for restrictions on the use of opioids, it must not be forgotten that opioids play a vital role in the management of pain, such as during surgery or to relieve chronic pain. Read More

Must Reads

Top 10 Patient Safety Must Reads – August 2016

We’re saying goodbye to August with a roundup of PPAHS’ most popular posts and tweets of articles we’ve read.

Top Posts

This month’s published content is highlighted by its insightful guest and collaboration posts. For any who have read our content and want to contribute their opinions on matters of patient safety, reach out to us in the comments, on Twitter, or our Contact Page. Read More