Improved coordination after procedures can help curb opioid use — 4 study findings

Surgeons and physicians can help alleviate the risk of patients becoming addicted to opioids by improving coordination about the prescription of opioids after surgery, University of Michigan researchers found.

A study led by University of Michigan's Michael Klueh analyzed insurance claims filed by patients who had undergone surgical procedures between 2008 and 2014 and received opioid drugs for the first time.

Here are four findings, as reported by Springer:

1. The researchers identified 5,276 patients who developed persistent drug habits and continued filing opioid prescriptions three to six months after they underwent procedures.

2. Surgeons wrote the most prescriptions in the three months following surgery, followed by primary care physicians, emergency medicine personnel and physical medicine and rehabilitation staff.

3. Nine to 12 months after surgery, primary care physicians provided the majority of opioid prescriptions. Surgeons provided the second most.

4. Mr. Klueh said surgeons and primary care physicians should coordinate to identify patients at risk of developing opioid use habits. He recommends considering the use of non-opioid postoperative painkillers.

More articles on quality:
Common deficiencies cited by AAAASF and how to fix them — Annual biomedical inspections
Dr. Chad Brummett: 5 key research findings on opioid prescribing
Paging Hollywood — 5 things the industry gets wrong about the medical field

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