Historical approaches to the use of opioids in pain management have been associated with overprescribing and have inadvertently contributed to the opioid abuse crisis. Optimizing the use of opioids can help reduce the number of excess pills circulating in the community.
Allina Health, a not-for-profit health system serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin, achieved previous success in reducing opioid prescriptions in outpatient settings through the adoption of standard practices. Though Allina Health had initial success with its opioid prescription reduction efforts, providers still lacked visibility into prescribing practices, leading to variability that made further sustainable improvements challenging. With the help of analytics, Allina Health leveraged its data to develop prescription standards aimed at reducing the oversupply of opioids in the community, while still effectively managing patients’ acute pain after procedures.
15,730 fewer opioid pills prescribed at discharge in one year.
16 percent relative reduction in the number of opioid pills prescribed per patient.
95 percent of patients that delivered a baby via cesarean section and received opioids at discharge received fewer than 30 opioid pills.