WIHI: Opioid Crisis: Changing Habits and Improving Pain Management

Date: January 11, 2018
  • Glenn Crotty, Jr., MD, FACP, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, West Virginia University; Executive Vice President and COO, Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC)
  • Robert B. Saper, MD, MPH, Associate Professor Family Medicine, Boston University; Chair, Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health
  • Shane Coleman, MD, MPH, Division Medical Director, Behavior Services Division, Southcentral Foundation​
  • Mara Laderman, MSPH, Director, Innovation, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)​​

As efforts continue to curb the opioid addiction epidemic in the US and reduce deaths from overdoses​, the underlying problem of overprescribing remains very much in the spotlight. There's growing evidence that clinicians writing prescriptions for Vicodin, Percocet, OxyContin, and the like are adhering to new, stricter guidelines, and doing a better job keeping track of their patients taking opioids. But with these changes in prescribing, experts and providers are now looking to alternative ways to treat chronic and severe pain, especially for people vulnerable to addiction.

On the January 11 episode of WIHI, we talked to providers from West Virginia, Alaska, and Massachusetts about new processes to help providers make careful decisions about the use of opioids, including expanding the use of physical, traditional, and integrative medicine as alternatives to prescribing opioids. We were joined by IHI Director Mara Laderman, co-author of an IHI Innovation Report,​Addressing the Opioid Crisis in the United States. She helped draw connections between improving pain management and the other critical drivers of the opioid crisis in America.

We also looked at what providers and organizations can do to improve pain management without always turning to opioids as the first line of treatment, and much more on this WIHI. ​


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