Opioid prescribing guidelines distributed 

Posted On: 11/13/2013

Prescription drug abuse is Oklahoma’s fastest growing drug problem. Our state has one of the highest overdose death rates in the nation, with nearly 3,200 unintentional poisoning deaths in Oklahoma from 2007-2011. Eighty-one percent of these deaths involved at least one prescription drug, and opioids were involved in 87 percent of the prescription drug-related deaths.

Governor Fallin and several state agencies and other stakeholder organizations have declared the reduction of prescription drug overdoses in Oklahoma a top priority, so a state plan has been developed.  A workgroup of physicians, pharmacists, nurses, physician assistants, public and mental health experts, and numerous related organizations was created to develop opioid prescribing guidelines for Oklahoma health care providers. The goal of these guidelines is to help reduce the misuse of prescription opioids while preserving and supporting the vital role of medical providers to properly and appropriately treat pain.  

The Oklahoma Hospital Association has endorsed the Oklahoma Emergency Department (ED) and Urgent Care Clinic (UCC) Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, available on the OHA website, and encourages their adoption throughout the state. OHA has distributed the guidelines and supporting resources to the CEO, CNO, quality and risk manager, emergency department director and chief of staff at all Oklahoma acute care hospitals. All of these resources can be found on the OHA website at www.okoha.com/opioidprescribingguidelines

Please share these guidelines with your medical staff by having this as a topic of discussion during upcoming medical staff meetings. Encourage the emergency medicine committee and/or your ED staff to determine how they will integrate the guidelines into their prescribing policy and procedure.

A poster for ED/UCC exam rooms, a patient information sheet, and an 11x17 copy of the of the ED/UCC guidelines summary with the logos of endorsers are available on the OHA website at www.okoha.com/opioidprescribingguidelines.

We appreciate your efforts to help reduce prescription drug misuse in Oklahoma!  For additional information, visit http://poison.health.ok.gov. (LaWanna Halstead)

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