ASCs' efforts to reduce postoperative pain and opioid dependence include using less long-acting anesthesia, administering non-opioid medications in the operating room and using postoperative pain blocks that gradually wear off, according to Maura Dent Cash, RN.
However, ASCs underutilize electronic health records in their efforts to battle opioid addiction, Ms. Dent Cash, HSTpathways' director of clinical applications, said in an ASC Focus article.
Here are six ways EHRs can help ASCs curb opioid use:
1. ASCs can use EHRs to standardize order sets, which would help implement an effective multimodal pain management protocol.
2. EHRs help prevent overprescribing by showing providers real-time summaries of all medications administered during a patient's visit and allowing providers access to chart patients simultaneously.
3. The medication reconciliation section on EHRs enables providers to easily evaluate a patient’s home medications and possible interactions with planned discharge medications.
4. Prior to surgery, ASCs can use EHRs to gather information needed to develop the best possible pain management combinations for a patient.
5. EHRs allow centers to design discharge instructions for specific procedures.
6. EHRs also allow centers to track the procedures, ordering providers and administering personnel behind opioid usage to prevent overuse.