Quality Assessment of Acute Inpatient Pain Management in an Academic Health Center
Quality of Health Care
The quality of acute inpatient pain management remains suboptimal and poorly understood. In this retrospective study, we analyze acute pain management practice in a large academic health center using several quality indicators. Not surprisingly, despite high rate of pain assessment, many patients still have frequent, prolonged, and unrelieved severe pain episodes. Upon examination of naloxone administration, we identify potential inappropriate opioid prescription practices such as the use of wrong opioids in hepatic and renal failure and simultaneous use of multiple short-acting opioids. Most importantly, we find that chronic opioid users appear to suffer the most in terms of undertreatment of pain as well as opioid overdose, highlighting the urgent need to target this underserved population of patients.