Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Special Outpatient Surgery Edition - Anesthesia - July 2017

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

Issue link: http://magazine.outpatientsurgery.net/i/841698

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Page 53 of 54

5 4 S U P P L E M E N T T O O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E J U LY 2 0 1 7 Was it a mistake to label pain the 5 th vital sign? Back in 2001, when The Joint Commission called pain the 5 th vital sign, caregivers increased the use of opi- oids to ensure patients felt no discomfort. What they failed to understand at the time is that patients will accept experiencing some level of post-op pain. According to one of my previous studies, surgical patients overwhelmingly said they would rather toler- ate some pain instead of enduring opioid-related side effects. How much are surgical facilities contributing to the problem? A recent study of health insurance claims showed that patients who underwent 11 of the most common types of surgery were at an increased risk of chronic opioid use. Most surgeons and anesthesia providers are unaware of the opioid abuse epidemic that's impacting countless communities. The culture of care is also partially to blame. Patients who are in pain believe they should receive strong painkillers such as opioids. If they don't, they think their pain can't be effectively managed. So patients need to alter their expectations? That's part of the problem. There are also many physicians urgery's Role in Slowing the Opioid Epidemic S TJ Gan, MD, MBA, MHS, FRCA Internationally known post-op pain management expert

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