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5 Tips for Creating an Opioid Policy

Monday, August 13, 2018   (0 Comments)
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The opioid epidemic has put orthopaedic practice professionals in a quandary – balancing patient needs with the needs of the practice amidst growing regulations to address the opioid crisis. Opioid legislation varies from state to state and continues to change at a rapid pace.  


When it comes to creating an opioid policy for your practice, where do you start? 


Start by taking the advice of several AAOE members who already have policies in place in their practices. Their advice, sample policies, and other resources are compiled in "Addressing the Opioid Epidemic: What does your practice need to know and do?" a downloadable e-book from AAOE. 


Here is a quick look at five things you can do when creating your own policy.


  1.  Set expectations up front with patients regarding your practice’s opioid prescribing policy. This often includes some sort of agreement new patients are required to read and sign.
  2.  Offer resources for alternative pain management solutions. This can be as simple as information posted to your practice’s website or a handout given to patients that lists alternative solutions or explains the side effects of prescription opioids. At least one practice has opened a separate pain wellness clinic. Read more in the e-book.
  3.  Get feedback from staff who work with patients to get a better understanding of the issues they’re facing and ensure that your policy addresses those pain points. 
  4.  Provide staff education prior to implementing a new policy so staff have a clear understanding of the policy and how to enforce it. This buy-in is key to a policy’s success.
  5.  Be proactive. State requirements continue to change, so it’s important to stay ahead of the curve.

Learn more about creating an opioid policy for your practice by downloading the AAOE Opioid E-book (no contact information required for download). 

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