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Can Curatives Kill? Reducing the Risk of Medication Error

May 11, 2020

An adverse drug event (ADE) is defined as “harm experienced by a patient as a result of exposure to a medication.”1 The Institute of Medicine says an ADE is “an injury resulting from a medical intervention.”2 Like any adverse event, occurrence of an ADE does not necessarily indicate an error or poor quality care. However, adverse drug events account for nearly 700,000 emergency department visits and 100,000 hospitalizations annually.1

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Filed under: Prescribing & Medication, Article, Practice Manager, Physician, Medication Errors, Patient Care

Decreasing Opioid Overdose Risk for New Patients on High-Dose Opioid Therapy for Chronic Pain

January 19, 2018

The most conservative addiction and overdose prevention policies and procedures can’t protect a primary care clinician from inheriting a patient who is taking high doses of opioids for chronic pain. In many cases, because of the patient’s limited resources and/or the limited number of specialists in the community, primary care clinicians are expected to satisfy the patient’s needs for specialty care, including pain management, mental health and physical therapy. Although there is no perfect solution for clinicians faced with these challenging patients, the following recommendations can decrease the risk of overdose and increase the chance that patients can be transitioned to safer pain management:*

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Filed under: Pain Management Specialist, Pain Management, Prescribing & Medication, Best Practices, Physician, Opioids

Summary of CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

January 19, 2018

The CDC guidelines are structured around 12 main recommendations that address various aspects of opioid pain management. The guidelines are controversial and, like clinical guidelines, they do not represent the standard of care and do not require conformance. However, it is likely they will be offered as support for a standard of care argument in medical malpractice lawsuits. The recommendations are summarized below. the full text of the “CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain — United States, 2016” can be found on the CDC website.

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Filed under: Pain Management Specialist, Pain Management, Prescribing & Medication, Article, Physician, Opioids

Preventing Pain Medication Overdose Deaths: Case Studies and Best Practices

January 19, 2018

The majority of NORCAL claims involving pain medications involve overdose deaths. This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who has been watching, listening to, or reading recent news.

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Filed under: Pain Management Specialist, Pain Management, Prescribing & Medication, Article, Practice Manager, Physician, Opioids, Patient Care

Pain Management vs. Treating the Underlying Causes of Pain

January 19, 2018

According to the defense expert in the following case, patients who can’t or won’t engage in alternative treatments for their pain should not be prescribed pain medications as a matter of course. Consider how the overdose in the following case could have been prevented if the internist had followed the CDC guidelines for prescribing opioids.

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Filed under: Pain Management, Prescribing & Medication, Case Study, Practice Manager, Physician, Opioids
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