August Highlight | Addressing the Opioid Crisis
HealthPartners commitment to addressing the opioid crisis crosses our entire organization, including our care delivery and health plan. Our system-wide initiatives include educating clinicians on appropriate prescribing and implementing new prescribing guidelines, e-prescribing, limiting strength, reviewing high-prescribing clinicians, and reducing the automatic pill count setting for opioid prescriptions in our electronic health record. These new approaches have led to a 45% decrease in members with chronic high-dose opioid prescriptions and a 22% decrease in members with one or more opioid prescriptions. In real numbers, HealthPartners has reduced opioid prescriptions in its clinics and hospitals by almost 5.5 million pills in the past two years. In addition we have also installed 30 drug take-back locations and expect to safely dispose of 10,000 pounds of medication annually.
TRIA has been at the forefront of decreasing prescribed opioids. Over the past two years, we have worked with the hand surgeons to decrease the number of pills prescribed by more than 50%. We are currently working with our surgeons that perform ACL reconstructions and also those performing joint replacements. The approach to this work has kept the patient at the center of our efforts as we work to decrease the number of pills prescribed while maintaining our patients’ satisfaction of their pain control. Dr. Jon Braman is starting a new study at TRIA looking at factors that can be assessed pre-operatively in patients to understand how they perceive and manage pain. Not all patients require the same quantity of narcotic pain medication post-operatively, and we hope to better understand the variation through this study.