Starting on January 1, 2018, the Joint Commission’s new and revised pain assessment and management standards for accredited hospitals will go into effect. Notably, the guidelines—as we report in a November news article—address safe opioid prescribing practices.
Among new requirements, the Joint Commission says hospitals should:
- Designate a leader or team responsible for pain management and safe opioid prescribing.
- Include patients in developing a pain management treatment plan—including realistic expectations and measurable goals—and educate them on discharge plans related to opioid adverse effects and safe use, storage, and disposal of opioids.
- Use prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) databases to identify patients at risk for opioid addiction.
- Identify opioid addiction treatment programs for patient referrals.
- Inform staff about consultation and referral services available for patients with complex pain management needs.
- Collect and analyze data on pain assessment and management to identify areas in which safety and quality could be improved.
The full list of new and revised guidelines is available here. How might these changes affect life for nurses and patients? Comments are welcome below.