Capps and Fischer Present on National Webinar

Amy Capps, RN, MSN, ER Manager at Jewish Hospital Shelbyville, and Janet Fischer, PharmD, at Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital, were selected to present on a national webinar as part of the Kentucky Hospital Association Statewide Opioid Stewardship program. Both shared about pilot projects taking place at KentuckyOne Health Louisville Region facilities.

Capps discussed new protocols being implemented for emergency room patients. She recently became involved with a national organization, Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO), and through that experience has learned about a variety of projects to curb opioid prescribing. Capps began data collection on the top patient population receiving opioids, and data on top prescriptions by diagnosis and by provider to look for variations. From that data, she’s been able to identify opportunities to educate about alternatives – and currently is working on new protocols for a variety of diagnoses. While the ER already has in place a new policy to limit opioid prescribing, they’ve also been able to roll out a new protocol for patients presenting with migraines, offering a number of alternative medications that have been found to be equally as effective.

Later this summer, a new surgical pain management pilot project will be rolled out on the orthopedic unit at Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital. Fischer talked about this initiative and her participation in the KHA “Comfort Tool” workgroup. Their work has been focused on changing patient, staff and provider perceptions about the expectations and measurement of pain. Starting with pre-admission testing, they hope to create more realistic expectations, even adapting vocabulary to discuss discomforts rather than pain. The pilot project will include an adapted pain scale with a menu of alternatives to medications that will help alleviate discomforts, including massage, music therapy, repositioning, and more.

Watch for updates on these pilot projects in This Week.