- Patients are beginning to expect – and appreciate – outreach related to opioids, just like they expect someone to explain their treatment plan.
- Don’t just focus on education about opioids, but also pain and pain management.
- Look at leveraging existing education and outreach tools from your core EHR vendor – even those originally designed for a different chronic condition.
- Create the right foundation (like a registry) to enable targeted opioid education and outreach to a defined population of patients.
- Don’t be afraid to repeat the same information. Multiple types of education across multiple mediums can help reinforce key messages and points.
- In addition to patient-specific education, include a message on all discharge summaries about opioid risks and proper disposal, as it might apply to the patient or family.
- Learn from others’ experience. This includes:
- Proactive communication with your EHR vendor to see how other clients are leveraging built-in capabilities to address opioid education and patient outreach.
- Seek out presentations, webinars, etc., from other provider organizations – especially those that are using the same core EHR vendor(s) that you are.
- Be active in vendor user group conferences, websites, etc.
Listed here are examples of credible sources of reliable patient educational content:
- National Center of Biotechnology Information
- Turning the Tide: For Patients – a website with education material for patients by former U.S .Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD
- The S. Food and Drug Administration website provides information on opioids. a consumer’s Guide to Safe Use of Pain Medication, as well as a List of Questions patients should ask their provider. Safe disposal instructions can also be found on the website.
- Lock Your Meds Campaign is an opioid safety campaign including educational focus on adult awareness prescription medications storage and safety.
- What Patients Should Ask Prescribers Before Taking Opioids is a good educational tool for patients.
- The FDA has guidance on Disposal of Unused Medications including Drug Enforcement Administration-Authorized Take Back Programs, and how to dispose of medication.