Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Anesthesia - Supplement to Outpatient Surgery Magazine - July 2016

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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J U LY 2 0 1 6 O U T P A T I E N TS U R G E R Y. N E T 5 3 Does that create a potential problem? There is some evidence suggesting that extra opioids, perhaps from post-op pre- scriptions, can be diverted or used inappropriately by patients after their pain has ended. The practice of giving standard prescriptions of exorbitant amounts of moderate- to high-strength opioids has to stop. But opioids are still valuable options in pain management, right? Yes, they definitely have a role to play. The idea is not to scare practitioners away from prescribing opioids, but to enable them to provide suitable limited opioid prescriptions based on the patient and surgery type. However, anesthesi- ologists should be aware of the epidemic surrounding the over-prescribing of opioids and take steps to mitigate inappropriate discharge prescriptions. Patient education is also important. A center in Canada provides patients with pam- phlets on proper use of opioids and has realized promising quality improvement results. That's a tool that could be incorporated in any outpatient facility. OSM Dr. Alam (asim.alam@sunnybrook.ca) is a staff anesthesiologist and transfusion medi- cine specialist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and an assistant professor in the department of anesthesia at the University of Toronto. He co-authored a study in the January 2016 Canadian Journal of Anesthesia (osmag.net/gvYTJ4) about the prescription opioid epidemic.

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