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Hospital for Special Surgery sees results from opioid task force

Crain’s New York Business reports on the outcomes to date as a result of the HSS Opioid Task Force, aimed to combat the opioid crisis.

Crain’s New York Business spoke to Seth A. Waldman, MD, anesthesiologist and director of the Pain Management Center at HSS, about the purpose of the task force who explained, “The hospital's primary areas of focus have been educating clinicians and patients about opioids, establishing a culture of conservative prescribing and guidelines, and identifying and managing high-risk patients.” Since its implementation two years ago, the task force’s work has led to 500,000 fewer opioids prescribed. Preliminary internal results suggest preoperative complex patient screening may reduce length of hospital stay by up to 26 percent. Additionally, the hospital identifies as many as 30 high-risk preoperative patients each week and places them on a plan to prevent opioid-use complications after surgery. Clinicians who prescribe a higher than average amount of opioids, receive one-on-one education, which has on average reduced their prescriptions written each month by about 27 percent.

Furthermore, new areas of focus for the task force this year include making more progress in multimodal analgesia, pain treatment from multiple drug classes, as well as increasing complementary treatments such as virtual reality, aromatherapy and massage therapy. “The goal is to take good care of people,” said Dr. Waldman. "This does improve outcomes."

Read the full article at CrainsNewYork.com.

Additional coverage: ThePharmaLetter.com, Beckershospitalreview.com