"That hospital is known for giving patients whatever they want." A patient told me that about a local hospital I am not affiliated with.
Opiate addiction is a big deal. It's been make headlines for years, has become a significant part of our medical landscape and now is entering political agendas and even our presidential election.
Hospital administrators and controlled substance prescribers are expected to "make the patient happy," a concept driven by patient satisfaction which impacts hospital reimbursement.
We need to see the big picture and not just the immediate situation. In the moment it's easy to get caught up in the drama but once the situation is under control, medications must be carefully scrutinized. In my experience, within a few hours we can come up with a more pragmatic and safer pain management regimen.
Every day, I see doctors and nurses being bullied by demanding patients. The eye roll says it all "give 'em what they want so they stop whining".
This is unsafe for everyone.
It starts with us. We can turn this epidemic around by more mindful prescribing, some basic education in addiction medicine, and more comprehensive pain treatment, understanding that opiates are a small component of treating pain.
We have been a big part of the problem in the opiate epidemic. But we can turn this around and be part the solution.
Posts by Melanie Rosenblatt, M.D.
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