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Putting Opioid Prescribing Guideline Recommendations into Practice

impact Abt Global is working with partners to develop measures and tools to support the implementation of safer opioid prescribing practices.

Health care providers wrote 245 million prescriptions for opioid pain medications in 2014. Although these medications have successfully helped many patients in their chronic pain management, for others they have led to opioid misuse and abuse, overdose, and death. In 2014, nearly 2 million U.S. residents either misused, abused or were dependent on prescription opioids.
Recognizing the need for better-aligned opioid prescribing practices with the best available evidence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain in March 2016. Under a new, three-year project awarded September 2016, Abt Global will assist CDC to help put the guideline recommendations into practice by developing measures and tools to support the implementation of safer opioid prescribing practices. 

“This is an important project that will help health care systems and providers to implement the guideline recommendations and monitor their progress,” said Abt Project Director and Co-PI Sarah J. Shoemaker, Ph.D., PharmD. “We bring some of the top experts to the table on improving opioid prescribing practices in primary care.”
Under the project, Abt and partners Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, Change Management Consultants, and University of Washington will:

  • Develop and refine quality improvement (QI) measures for long-term opioid therapy;
  • Develop a QI implementation package designed to promote safer and effective care of patients on long-term opioid therapy; and
  • Develop and support the implementation of a collaborative to facilitate the QI efforts in six large healthcare systems.

This project expands Abt’s robust portfolio of opioid-related work under the leadership of Principal Associate Douglas McDonald, Ph.D. McDonald serves as Co-PI on this project with Shoemaker. Abt’s related projects include evaluating prescribing trends by Medicare beneficiaries; developing and implementing strategies to improve opioid prescribing; supporting quality improvement; and evaluating efforts to reduce misuse, abuse, and overdose from opioids. 

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