80865 - Managing patients discharged from hospital on opioids
- : Online
To improve the GP management of patients discharged form hospital on opioid analgesics.Relevance to General Practice
The prospect of pain is often the worst fear of patients facing surgery.1 For some patients, including those undergoing day-surgery, there can be a need for the short-term use of opioid analgesics for a time after discharge.2 For most patients, the time-limited postoperative use of opioids aids rehabilitation with little risk of adverse outcomes. However, for some patients, there is the potential for opioids to be misused or diverted.2
Often specific instructions regarding the patient’s postoperative discharge analgesia is either inadequate or forgotten and the patient’s GP is left and manage the patient’s pain.1 In the absence of clear instruction, some patients continue opioid therapy for longer than is required and this activity is designed to help GPs manage and cease the use of opioids in this patient population.
The need for education on pain management including the selective use of opioids was one of the key recommendations of the RACP’s Prescription Opioid Policy.3