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According to the CDC, the amount of opioids prescribed and sold since 1999 has nearly quadrupled, yet there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain Americans report. We have a genuine and devastating epidemic of opiate abuse in this country, and it is of critical importance that this problem be addressed.  Over prescribing leads to more abuse, addiction and overdose deaths.

The Nebraska Hospital Association (NHA) recently released the Opioid Toolkit, which is designed to be a quick reference guide for providers and clinical staff.

“The NHA Opioid Toolkit is a great resource for all healthcare providers to utilize when treating patients who may be experiencing pain or addressing patients with substance use or misuse.  This is a wonderful resource that will assist in addressing the opioid issues and ensure that all patients are provided consistent and effective treatment,” said Amy Reynoldson; Executive Vice President Designee with the Nebraska Medical Association.

The toolkit addresses the following:

  • Recommendations regarding appropriate prescribing to reduce the risk of addiction/abuse;
  • Recommendations regarding screening and appropriate treatment for those who are already addicted;
  • Tactics and methods to appropriately manage public expectations around opioid use.

The NHA Opioid Toolkit will be updated quarterly online and can be found on the NHA website.

“The toolkit created by the Nebraska Hospital Association Steering Council on the Opioid Epidemic provides recommendations regarding appropriate prescribing to reduce the risk of substance use/misuse disorders, developed recommendations regarding screening and appropriate treatment for those who are addicted, and addresses appropriate expectations on the part of the public regarding opioid use. This is an excellent resource for providers in the hospitals setting using CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids as well as other evidence based resources with tools such as a stoplight document for acute and chronic pain, opioid and benzodiazepine tapering flow sheets, a list of behavioral health resources by state and region as well as examples of standing order sets,” added Tammy Baumann, RN, LSSGB, CADDCT, CDP; Quality Improvement Advisor with Great Plains QIN – Nebraska.