NQF creates opioid stewardship guidebook for providers
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The National Quality Forum released a playbook Thursday for providers to use as a guide to implement and sustain an opioid stewardship program.
The 43-page report offers seven steps for healthcare organizations to curb inappropriate opioid usage and strategies to complete those steps. The playbook aligns with NQF's announcement last July of an opioid stewardship program focused on lower rates of overprescribing for pain.
The new playbook will be disseminated to NQF's members, including specialty societies.
"We believe all stakeholders have an important role to play and the playbook really takes that perspective by putting forward best practices and guidance to help delivery systems adhere to safe prescribing patterns," said Dr. Shantanu Agrawal, president and CEO of NQF.
The playbook was developed with help from NQF members that are part of the initiative National Quality Partners, including Trinity Health and other health systems.
The seven steps laid out in the playbook to create a stewardship program are leadership commitment and culture; policy implementation; clinical knowledge and expertise; patient and family caregiver education; tracking of performance; establishing accountability and community collaboration.
NQF also provides basic, intermediate and advanced strategies to implement the steps, including creating education materials on pain management options or identify specific team members who can review costs and insurance coverage with patients for pain management options.
Most healthcare organizations are currently in the midst of ways to curb opioid prescribing, Agrawal said.
The playbook also emphasizes the importance of measurement and data to monitor and sustain progress. "These measures don't have to be overly sophisticated, but as a quality leader if you're not measuring your work, it is hard to know if you are making an improvement," said Paul Conlon, senior vice president of clinical quality and patient safety at Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health who worked on the playbook.
NQF and its members will engage with stakeholders about the helpfulness of the playbook and their experiences with implementation of the various strategies.
"My hope is that this will further the conversation nationally about how we can better treat patients with chronic pain that is safer and more effective," said Dr. Andrew Friedman, an attending physician at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle who also worked on the playbook.
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