NPS MedicineWise have launched a new resource this month as part of the Choosing Wisely Australia and Opioids, chronic painand the bigger picture initiative for people who are prescribed opioids.
The new simple two-page resource, Managing pain and opioid medicines, aims to guide people through their experience of taking opioids when they are prescribed in hospital, by their general practitioner or other healthcare providers. The resource can be downloaded directly from the Choosing Wisely Australia and NPS MedicineWise websites.
The resource was developed in consultation with the Queensland Clinical Senate with testing supported by the Queensland Opioid Stewardship Program and the Society of Hospital Pharmacists (SHPA). It was tested in surgical wards and emergency departments of four hospitals in Victoria and Queensland, by hospital staff and inpatients.
It has three key elements to support people who are prescribed opioids:
Five questions people are encouraged to ask their health professional before leaving hospital with opioids. This has been modelled on Choosing Wisely Australia’s 5 questions to ask your doctor resource to guide better conversations with health professionals about tests, treatments and procedures.
Tips for taking and storing opioids at home.
A personal pain management plan that should be developed in conjunction with a health professional.
Hospital staff will be encouraged to provide the two-page patient resource on Managing pain and opioid medicines to people prescribed opioids for non-cancer pain as inpatients, or on discharge, and encourage a conversation about using opioids for short-term pain, their adverse effects and other ways of managing pain. Health professionals practising in primary care will also be encouraged to print copies for their patients and have discussions about opioid medicines.