Pain represents a major crisis in today's healthcare environment with over 70 million
Americans experiencing chronic pain each year. Poor management of pain has been linked
to reduced quality of life and patient satisfaction of care. During hospitalization, inadequate
management of pain leads to longer length of stay and higher readmission rates, resulting
in overall higher healthcare costs. Pain places a heavy financial burden on society
and is a leading cause of disability and lost work days.
Adequate pain management requires clinicians to make rational decisions regarding
analgesic selection, dosing, titration, and administration. A thorough understanding
of pain pathophysiology is essential to guide clinical decision-making. Despite the
availability of effective analgesics, several barriers to adequate pain management
continue to exist. These barriers include failure to assess scope of pain, concerns
for abuse, fear of adverse events, and a lack of knowledge about pain and analgesics.
Healthcare providers must recognize the impact of pain on their patients and advance
their efforts to better manage pain. Pharmacists, as part of a interdisciplinary
team, can play a leading role in these efforts to address the current practice gaps.
This interactive Initiative is designed to incorporate a multifaceted-activities
approach in order to build the skills and competencies of health-system pharmacists
and to facilitate application of these competencies in clinical practice. Health-system
pharmacists will have the opportunity to participate in the live activity followed by
an online tutorial series with cases and Internet Point of Care.
The live activity consists of evidence-based presentations focusing on
leading issues facing pharmacists when managing patients with chronic pain. This
is followed by a Case Study Forum discussing the application of clinical tools
through faculty-learner dialogues in two virtual cases.
The online tutorial series with cases will reinforce practical application of tools
and competencies acquired during the live activity. Each tool is a combination of
faculty commentary on essentials in clinical practice, links to relevant scientific
publications, and printable handout material for reference. Cases following the online
tutorials will give the learners an opportunity to earn extra CE credit upon completion.
As health-system pharmacists attempt to implement principles and strategies learned, they
will continue to have questions regarding how to incorporate them into clinical
practice. Therefore, through Internet Point of Care activity, participants will have
access to resources necessary to search for answers to their specific clinical questions