The Opioid Epidemic: Resources and Insights

Professional Education
Innovations and Smart Approaches in Safe Prescribing (Champions for Health)
In 2019, an estimated 10.1 million Americans aged 12 years or older misused opioids in the past year. Specifically, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers. The origin of this epidemic began in the 1990s when the pharmaceutical industry promoted the use of opioids as a nonaddictive solution to treat pain. Since then, nearly 500,000 people have died from an opioid overdose. This program aims to reengage physicians with the CDC's guidelines for opioid safety by using real scenarios, case reviews, and at least five achievable, behavior changing objectives. The program also addresses cultural linguistic competency and implicit bias.
1.8 credits

Professional Education
Learning from Pain Management Closed Claim Analysis for Advanced Practice Clinicians
TDC Group has published an analysis of lawsuits and claims filed against pain management advanced practice clinicians (APC). This study completed in 2020 provides quantitative and qualitative information that an APC who practices pain management, including interventional approaches to treatment would find useful in mitigating the risks of unintended outcomes or harms. This study breaks down where most patient injuries occur, what those injuries are, and the lessons learned from those claims.
1.0 credit

Professional Education
Safe Opioid Prescribing for Physicians and Dentists
Opioids play an important role in pain management—both in the acute and the chronic setting, but a variety of causes have contributed to an opioid-related epidemic leading to addiction and death. There has also been substantial misuse of opioids by prescription and by diversion.
2.5 credits

Professional Education
Pain Management - A Closed Claim Analysis Looking at Risks and Lessons Learned
For the first time, The Doctors Company has published an analysis of lawsuits and claims filed against pain management physicians. This study completed in 2020 provides quantitative and qualitative information that a physician who practices pain management, including interventional approaches to treatment would find useful in mitigating the risks of unintended outcomes or harms. This study breaks down where most patient injuries occur, what those injuries are, and the lessons learned from those claims.
1.3 credits

Mar 23, 2021
Prescribing Opioids Safely: How to Have Difficult Patient Conversations
Roneet Lev, MD, Chief of Scripps Mercy Emergency Department, Chair of Prescription Drug Abuse Medical Task Force, and President of Independent Emergency Physicians Consortium
Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., and opioids account for over 60 percent of those deaths. Building a strong doctor-patient rapport can help facilitate tough conversations with patients about opioid prescriptions and reduce risks that could lead to malpractice suits.

Mar 17, 2021
Virtual Reality for Pain Management: An Alternative to Opioids
Miranda Felde, MHA, CPHRM, Vice President, Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company
Many physicians are exploring virtual reality (VR) technologies as an alternative to opioid prescriptions. VR addresses both attention paid to pain and the patient’s emotional state: The immersive distraction of VR can help a patient mentally transport to another space, such as an underwater seascape, which may also positively affect the patient’s emotional state.

Jan 29, 2021
Pain Management Closed Claims Study
Jacqueline Ross, RN, PhD, Coding Director, and Michelle Swift, RN, JD, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager
The Doctors Company reviewed medical malpractice claims that closed between 2008 and 2018 and involved pain management physicians as the primary specialty responsible in the claim. That criteria identified 273 claims and lawsuits.

Dec 12, 2019
Office of National Drug Control Strategy Promotes Building an Addiction Medicine Workforce
Roneet Lev, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Office of National Drug Control Policy
Dr. Lev recaps a White House event that focused on the field of addiction medicine.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Dec 01, 2019
Dilaudid-Related Morbidity and Mortality from Respiratory Depression
Howard Marcus, MD, FACP, Chairman, Texas Alliance for Patient Access
Patient safety organizations and the FDA are focusing on ways to reduce patient harm from opioids.

Nov 16, 2018
Opioid Addiction in Pregnant Women and Moms: How to Make a Difference
Hannah Snyder, MD, and Christine Pecci, MD
Treating pregnant women and mothers with opioid addiction calls for a well-informed approach to patient safety.

Video Oct 31, 2018
Naloxone to Fight the Opioid Epidemic: Surgeon General's Perspective
Co-prescribing naloxone can help turn around opioid overdose rates and is an important first step in fighting the opioid epidemic, says U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH. His comments were made to attendees at The Doctors Company's 2018 Executive Advisory Board meeting.

Video Oct 31, 2018
Fighting the Opioid Epidemic: Progress Report from Surgeon General
Programs for combatting the opioid epidemic, reducing overdose rates, and addressing other addiction epidemic issues (including heroin and fentanyl) are explored by U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH. His comments were made to attendees at The Doctors Company's 2018 Executive Advisory Board meeting.

Video Jul 24, 2017
The Opioid Epidemic: A Closed Claims Analysis
Opioids play an important role in pain management—both in the acute and chronic settings. Unfortunately, the dramatic increase in opioid use over the past few decades has resulted in an opioid-related epidemic of addiction and death. To take a deeper look at the epidemic, The Doctors Company reviewed 272 malpractice claims in which patient harm involved opioids.

Jun 06, 2017
Prescribing Opioids Safely
Howard Marcus, MD, FACP
Dr. Howard Marcus discusses guidelines and recommendations for preventing opioid misuse and addiction in patients with acute or chronic pain.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Mar 16, 2017
San Diego Death Diaries
Roneet Lev, MD
Dr. Roneet Lev provides insights into the prescription opioid abuse epidemic.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Mar 16, 2017
Analysis of Medication-Related Claims from The Doctors Company
David B. Troxel, MD, Medical Director, Board of Governors
Dr. David Troxel reviews 1,770 closed by The Doctors Company in which patient harm involved medication factors.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Mar 16, 2017
Legislating the Opioid Epidemic
Dennis W. Chiu, JD, Government Relations Specialist
From The Doctor’s Advocate

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