Opioid Safety & Pain Management

Older woman pouring pill into her hand

“We have an ethical responsibility to relieve patient pain and suffering. This includes managing pain in a way that will not cause future harm to the patient or our community.” 

Vallerie Gleason, NMC President and CEO
Charles Craig, MD, NMC Chief Medical Officer

In the wake of continued concerns surrounding opioid use and abuse and pain management, NMC is committed to addressing the growing epidemic by focusing on three key factors: reducing opioid usage, improving monitoring and patient education, and encouraging alternative pain management methods.

Download Patient Checklist and NMC Position Statement

Reducing Opioid Usage

NMC patients receive individualized care since each patient’s needs are different when it comes to pain management. Physicians and medical staff work one-on-one with patients to utilize opioids as sparingly as possible during inpatient care. Time-limited and total-dosage- limited opioid use is a top priority for caregivers.

Medical staff utilize K-TRACS and other methods to screen for multi-prescriptions and/or multi-providers, including veterinarians, where patients may be obtaining prescribed opioids. The prescribers may also consult with pharmacists and others to minimize over-prescribing.

Improving Monitoring and Patient Education

Opioid prescriptions for chronic pain sufferers in an outpatient setting are carefully controlled by the prescriber through a variety of strategies. These could include pain management contracts and tests to determine if the drug is being taken as prescribed.

Methods to limit usage will also emphasize patient education with the encouraged use of other medications and forms of pain management such as physical therapy, stress management and exercise.

Encouraging Alternative Pain Management Methods

In addition to alternative pain methods encouraged for chronic pain sufferers, NMC offers a multi-modal pain management plan in its hospital and clinics. Medical staff utilize a wide array of medications ranging from acetaminophen to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to opioids supplemented with other comfort measures such as ice packs, re-positioning, movement and staff presence.

Additional Resources

Medication Disposal Options

Safe Storage for Medications

Facts on Teen Drug Use