PASADENA, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente facilities throughout the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region, in partnership with local law enforcement agencies, are encouraging community members to participate in the 14th “National...
Kaiser Permanente physicians in Southern California are interviewed for a series depicting different facets of the opioid crisis in the United States. The physicians of speak from the perspective of alternative pain management and opioid use reduction strategies.
According to the California Health Care Foundation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California physicians now receive reports comparing their prescribing rates with those of their peers, and they require a signoff from another doctor specializing in pain management, oncology, or palliative care to give high doses of opioids or brand-name pills.
California had the nation’s second-highest rate of patients over 65 seeking care at hospital emergency departments for opioid-related issues, such as falls or other accidents caused by the loss of fine motor skills associated with the drugs, or symptoms associated with withdrawal.
Kaiser Permanente’s Safe and Appropriate Opioid Prescribing Program was implemented in 2010, and is among the organization’s most successful efforts to address the problem of opioid addiction, not only for members, but for the communities in which it operates. The program is the focus of a study recently published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. We interviewed study co-author, Michael H. Kanter, MD, medical director of quality and clinical analysis for the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, as well as executive vice president and chief quality officer, The Permanente Federation, about the program.
A comprehensive Enhanced Recovery After Surgery program implemented in Kaiser Permanente’s 20 Northern California medical centers involved nearly 9,000 surgical patients and resulted in a one-third relative reduction in postoperative complication rates and a 21 percent reduction in opioid prescribing rates.
Kaiser Permanente, in partnership with local law enforcement agencies, is encouraging community members in Southern California to participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 29.