Premier takes on the opioid crisis with national hospital initiative

Focusing on 30 high-performing hospitals, the group will work with anesthesiologists to create new strategies for post-op pain management.
By Bernie Monegain
11:20 AM
national hospital initiative for opioid crisis

Premier Inc. is tackling the opioid crisis with a new hospital-supported opioid safety pilot. The aim is to make care safer and reduce patient harm from opioid misuse, dependence and addiction, Premier announced July 19.

The American Society of Anesthesiologists will be a key performance improvement partner in the initiative, Premier executives stated.

The initiative is focused on improving postoperative opioid pain management by providers, clinicians, patients and their families.

[Also: IBM Watson thinks it can use AI to fight opioid addiction]

The pilot, Safer Postoperative Pain Management: Reducing Opioid-related Harm, is scheduled to launch in September 2017 and run through March 2018. Premier has targeted 30 high performing hospitals to participate.

“Addressing the opioid epidemic calls for the reliable implementation of proven, evidence-based treatment practices and testing new measures and approaches to ensure professionals are trained based on what the evidence has proven to work,” said Blair Childs, senior vice president of public affairs at Premier, in a statement.

Blair noted that working with the ASA is particularly critical because of the role physician anesthesiologists play in care delivery.

“This initiative extends our long-term commitment to collaborate with health systems, the government and other industry organizations to continue down a path of safer pain management practices,” he said.

Premier is launching the pilot through its Hospital Improvement Innovation Network, which is part of the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services Partnership for Patients program.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999. From 1999 to 2015, more than 183,000 people died in the U.S. from opioid overdoses related to prescribed opioids.

The premier pilot will focus first on adult patients undergoing elective hip and knee arthroplasty – and colectomy surgical procedures. The goal is to help participants redesign their existing best practices and workflows around pain management with new strategies, officials said.

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