Opioid prescriptions fall by 25%, Scripps Health reports

San Diego-based Scripps Health reduced its opioid prescriptions by 25 percent in the first year of its Opioid Stewardship Program, according to Patch.

In 2017, the hospital started its Opioid Stewardship Program aiming to reduce prescription opioid use, prevent patient opioid addiction and better use its pain management options.

"We want to return our patients to healthy function as soon as possible, without putting them at risk for opioid dependency or the side effects of opioid usage," Ole Snyder, MD, a Scripps-affiliated family medicine physician and chairman of Scripps' OSP, told Patch. "We've designed a multifaceted approach to achieve these goals, which includes educating patients and doctors, and implementing consistent prescribing and tapering standards."

Scripps Health's Opioid Stewardship Program focuses on providing educational materials in conjunction with clinical support. Educational materials include informational handouts given to patients, which explain the best way to manage acute pain, nonopioid medications and drug-free pain relief options. Education efforts also focus on educating healthcare providers with formal online education materials specifically created for physicians, nurses and pharmacists.

Additionally, the Scripps OSP created a new prescribing standard, limiting the number of opioid tablets prescribed and encouraging proper tapering schedules and partial prescription fills. Scripps Health also opened three drug-disposal kiosks to its on-site pharmacies, which are open year round.

Later phases will help physicians ensure chronic and complex patients with opioid dependency receive access to appropriate treatment. 

More articles on opioids:

Sackler family faces legal action over role in opioid epidemic
Opioid misuse study examines trends based on sexual orientation
Geisinger launches opioid reduction initiative

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