Common Elements in Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

When CompAlliance developed our Opioid Protocols for use by our staff we performed research on guidelines utilized by different entities. Here is a link to one of the research sets of guidelines we reviewed. Common Elements in Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids. In addition we researched each state in which we practice to ascertain if there were any guidelines applicable to that state.

Some of the takeaways from our research: Educate our staff to ensure their ability to work collaboratively with the prescribing physician when exploring non-opioid options for managing pain and maximizing functional capabilities. Implementing a medication reconciliation on each injured worker during the initial evaluation. Researching and utilizing standardized assessment tools to objectify that “gut feeling” your injured worker is not appropriate for chronic opioid therapy.

Focusing on functional improvement vs. “healing pain”. Encouraging the prescribing physician to utilize the PDMP applicable to the state. Utilizing ODG or other evidence based guidelines when communicating with the prescribing physician. Education of the injured worker as to the serious nature of being prescribed an opioid for pain relief and their responsibilities while using this medication.

These are just a few of the components of the CompAlliance opioid protocols for the RN working with the prescribing physician and injured worker. In addition, it is essential to work collaboratively with all stakeholders including the PBM, the claims professional, and the urine drug monitoring vendor (if needed). If there are areas of concern noted when working with the prescribing physician, knowing the resources to suggest to the claims professional is essential.