In 2017, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services declared a public health emergency to address the opioid crisis.1 But while increased awareness and better prescribing practices have helped—overall prescribing rates peaked in 2012 and have declined each year since to a 12-year low in 2017.3—there is still cause for concern. In 2017, more than 47,000 Americans died of an opioid overdose and an estimated 1.7 million suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioids.2Learn More »
Acting Secretary of HHS in 2017 declared a public health emergency to address what he called a “national opioid crisis.” It’s easy to see why. The number of people dying from opioid overdoses is increasing1 and the economic burden of prescription opioid misuse alone is estimated at $78.5 billion a year in the U.S.2 Furthermore, due to the increased scrutiny by law enforcement and regulatory agencies and the risk of dependency and overdose there are increased liability risks for physicians related to opioid prescribing.
In this special report, the risk management experts at NORCAL offer recommendations supporting sound pain management principles for mitigating these risks and increasing patient safety with opioids.Learn More »
Patient engagement generally describes patient involvement in their own healthcare. The concept of patient engagement is not new; for example, diabetes educators have been talking about “shared decision making” since the early 1990s.1 It is still a current hot topic among policymakers, though, and is a key component of meaningful use legislation, the Affordable Care Act, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care. Additionally, increasing patient engagement can benefit you and your patients. Engaged patients are more likely to have better outcomes and greater satisfaction with their healthcare experience and are also less likely to file malpractice lawsuits.2Learn More »
Although clinical experience develops many skills, physicians benefit from external input for improving communication skills.1,2 Physicians can use the following techniques and training resources to improve their communication with patients and demonstrate empathy.Learn More »
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” (Maya Angelou)
Defining empathy can be complicated. In medicine, it is thought of as a communication competence, but it also describes the experience between physician and patient, during which the physician becomes attuned to the patient to understand what the patient is feeling. Patients also use empathy to describe a physician’s ability to understand their feelings and opinions and express compassion and concern for their well-being.1 Although physician empathy may seem to be a low priority in comparison to technical acumen, research indicates that physician empathy has wide-ranging benefits for both physicians and patients.Learn More »