• By Dana Sparks

Science Saturday: Mayo guidelines cut some opioid prescriptions by half

May 5, 2018

a collection of prescription pill bottlesMayo Clinic researchers are studying the clinic’s opioid prescribing practices after surgery, discovering areas for improvement based on that evidence, and applying it to optimize care for individual patients. The result in the Mayo Clinic Department of Orthopedic Surgery is a 48 percent reduction in the amount of opioids prescribed for hip and knee replacement surgery. The team also noted that the prescription refill rate remained the same. The research was published recently in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research.

“These findings show that simply creating and adhering to procedure-specific opioid prescribing guidelines based on scientific research can yield significant results,” says lead author Cody Wyles, M.D., a Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgical resident.

The work to refine opioid prescriptions post-surgery began with a collaborative effort among Mayo Clinic physicians, pharmacists, pain medicine specialists, nurses and research scientists in the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery. The cross-specialty research team looked at opioid prescriptions written at Mayo Clinic for 25 common surgeries, and found areas for improvement. To address the issues, the team created opioid prescribing guidelines for the common surgeries, which were first implemented by the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. Read the rest of the article on Advancing the Science.
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