ER at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle to limit pain medications

The emergency room at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle in Columbus, Miss., will impose a limit on the pain medication clinicians can provide patients with complaints of chronic pain, effective Jan. 3, The Dispatch reports.

Joel Butler, MD, an ER physician at Baptist Memorial, said the new policy aligns with guidelines from the CDC.

"The [CDC's] recommendation is that the medications are best given by a patient's regular physician who sees the [patient] on a regular basis ... like any other regular medicine the patient takes," Dr. Butler said, according to the report. "Because the physician needs to monitor their response to the medication ... and we just cannot do that adequately in an episodic care situation."

Baptist Memorial ER physicians see between 175 and 190 patients per day, with about 90 percent indicating they are experiencing some pain, Lauri Sansing, RN, nurse director of the ER, told The Dispatch.

While patients who come to the ER with acute pain, such as from broken bones or stab wounds, will receive appropriate pain medication, the new policy reflects the hospital's aim to help combat the nationwide opioid epidemic.

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