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Journal Scan
Sarcoma

Education program cut opioid use by half after resection

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A provider-focused opioid reduction education program aimed to decrease discharge opioid prescriptions, reduced discharge oral morphine equivalents (OME) by half, according to a study.

In this prospective quality improvement project, 1168 patients undergoing peritoneal surface, sarcoma, stomach, pancreas, or liver tumor resection were assigned into a pre-education (resection before departmental education talks and videos) or post-education (resection after departmental education talks and videos) group. Oral morphine equivalents (OME) were used to compared opioid prescriptions between the groups.

In the median last-24-hour, inpatient OME was 15 mg in patients in the pre-education group and 10 mg in patients in the post-education groups (P < 0.001). The median OME at discharge decreased from 200 mg in the pre-education group to 100 mg in the post-education group. There was an increase from 11% to 19% in the frequency of patients discharged without any opioids. The authors concluded that “This discharge OME reduction amounted to 52,200 mg OME saved, or the equivalent of 6960 5-mg oxycodone pills not disseminated.” Reference Kim BJ, Newhook TE, Blumenthaler A, et al. Sustained reduction in discharge opioid volumes through provider education: Results of 1168 cancer surgery patients over 2 years. J Surg Oncol. 2021; doi: 10.1002/jso.26476. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33751605.

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