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.

Staff Feature | Jonathan Braman, MD

What would be the first three things you would do if you won the lottery (say $768 million like last March)? 
1. Go fishing.
2. Stop worrying about where the next research grant is going to come from.
3. Get back to work.

Name an invention that has captivated you most and why?
Record players are still one of the most amazing things ever made. Something about the physicalness of the record and the fact that this big piece of circular plastic makes music come out makes listening a little bit more fun. 

Would you describe a particular case that stands out as one you will always remember?
One of my most memorable cases ever was when I did a total shoulder and the patient had a large posterior rotator cuff tear that had not been well-seen on the pre-operative imaging. The patient was extremely active and would not have done well with the limitations required by a reverse total shoulder replacement. I fixed the rotator cuff tear and completed the total shoulder. The patient rehabilitated well and I still see him around the rink when he is playing hockey. Nothing feels better than helping patients get back to their passions!

Current Studies
  IRB Approved Projects:  38
  Data Analysis Phase:  15
  Projects in Development: 17

Publications & Presentations

Congratulations to Dr. Braman on the publication in Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine!

The WORC Index and Predicting Treatment Failure in Patients Undergoing Primary Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair

Matthew J. Herring, MD; Orthopaedic Trauma Institute (OTI), San Francisco General Hospital, University of California–San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.
Melissa White, MD; Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
Jonathan P. Braman, MD; Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.



Rotator cuff tears are common injuries that are reliably treated with arthroscopic repair, producing good to excellent results. The Western Ontario Rotator Cuff (WORC) index is a validated disease-specific instrument used to assess patient outcomes; however, no study to date has correlated WORC index with treatment failure.


To evaluate the WORC index as a predictor for successful treatment in arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. An additional purpose was to identify patient and tear characteristics associated with risk of treatment failure.

Opportunity Awaits!

Want to become more involved in research? Join us for an upcoming research meeting located in the TRIA Bloomington Conference Center at PTEC (2nd Floor, Bell Plaza).
  • Sports sub-specialty group/research committee meets the 2nd Monday of every other month at (Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct, Dec) at 4p.m.
  • Shoulder & Sports combined sub-specialty group/research committee meets the 2nd Monday of every other month (Jan, Mar, May, July, Sept, Nov) at 5p.m.
  • Hand sub-specialty group/research committee meets the 2nd Monday of every other month (Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct, Dec) at 5p.m.
Email: | Vocera: Research Coordinator | Phone: (952) 806-5603
Missed a prior edition? Check out the Institute Minute archive page.
Copyright © 2017 TRIA Orthopaedic Center Research Institute, All rights reserved.

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TRIA Orthopaedic Center · 8100 Northland Drive · Minneapolis, MN 55431 · USA

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