CHICAGO, Sept. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — 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.

Improving Health & Safety Through Innovation and Awareness. (PRNewsfoto/Physician-Patient Alliance...)

«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,» says Michael Wong, JD (Founder and Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety), «which 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.»

In a recent article, Mr. Wong outlines 5 key steps to a more balanced approach to the prescribing of opioids:

  1. Recognize the critical role of physicians in the lives of patients and the impact that they can play in the opioid epidemic.
  2. Answer the call by clinicians to provide them with the necessary tools and information they need to make informed and safe treatment recommendations.
  3. Advocate for  a more balanced approach by considering other pain management alternatives before immediately prescribing an opioid.
  4. Monitor all patients receiving pain medications, and particularly opioids, to ensure that these patients are safe.
  5. Make sure that patients understand physician-recommended treatments.

To read the full article, please click go to the PPAHS blog.

The attention given to the opioid epidemic has resulted in a negative-opioid prescribing environment. However, it must be remembered that there are some patients and medical procedures that require the use of opioids and that when this happens we need to make sure that these patients receiving opioids are adequately monitored to ensure their safety. The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety recommends that all patients receiving opioids should be monitored with pulse oximetry for oxygenation and with capnography for adequacy of ventilation.

About Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety

Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety is a non-profit 501(c)(3) whose mission is to promote safer clinical practices and standards for patients through collaboration among healthcare experts, professionals, scientific researchers, and others, in order to improve healthcare delivery. For more information, please go to www.ppahs.org.

 

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SOURCE Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety