The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aims to save lives and prevent prescription opioid misuse, Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and overdose by equipping providers with the knowledge, tools and guidance they need.
The CDC’s Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain is a resource for primary care providers, healthcare systems, primary care practices and quality improvement teams to help ensure patients have access to safer, more effective chronic pain treatment by improving the way opioids are prescribed and reducing the number of people who misuse, abuse or overdose. The framework is nimble and flexible so that healthcare systems and practice leaders can pick interventions that are responsive to the unique conditions in their practice and patient population.
Chapter One summarizes the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain in three conceptual areas:
• Determining when to initiate or continue opioids for chronic pain
• Opioid selection, dosage, duration, follow-up, and discontinuation, and
• Assessing risk and addressing harms of opioid use
Chapter Two offers 16 clinical quality improvement opioid measures that align with the CDC Prescribing Guideline recommendation statements
Chapter Three describes practice-level strategies to organize and improve the management and coordination of long-term opioid therapy, such as:
• Using an interdisciplinary team approach
• Establishing practice policies and standards
• Using Electronic Health Record (EHR) data to develop patient registries and track quality improvement measures
The Toolkit also contains examples of existing materials, tools and resources developed and used by other practices, which have been found to be useful. Readers can use or modify to meet their own needs.