Strategies for Increasing Patient Safety with Opioids

Prescription Opioid Abuse: A Growing National Crisis

Strategies for Increasing Patient Safety with Opioids - Special Report

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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 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.

Concerns

  • While overall prescribing rates declined to a ten-year low in 2016, deaths from opioid overdoses are increasing.¹

Challenges

  • Careful prescribing and monitoring practices are essential to safely manage patients’ pain and increase defensibility in the event of a claim.

Best Practices

  • Sound pain management and prescribing principles to help increase patient safety.