Promoting opioid stewardship in an orthopedic ambulatory surgery center: a quality improvement project

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Nursing


Overprescribing opioids poses a substantial risk to patients and communities as it may result in patients continuing to use or in-excess pills that can become diverted to others. Postoperative prescribing guidelines address the national epidemic at the local level by reducing the availability of opioids for nonmedical use. This project sought to align the postoperative discharge opioid prescribing practices of a small orthopedic ambulatory surgery center (ASC) in southwestern Montana with best practices. The evidence-based postoperative prescribing guidelines were pilot tested with a targeted surgical procedure over four weeks. Patients meeting inclusion criteria were prescribed an opioid pill quantity within the recommended amount was inconsistent, with the most adherence reaching 25%. Mechanisms within the electronic health record (EHR) system are recommended to improve adherence.




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