MN Health Collaborative: Opioids

Reducing Opioid Use and Improving Pain Management

MN Health Collaborative partners are committed to reducing opioid prescribing and overdose deaths, and improving care for people experiencing pain and addiction. Initial efforts focus on nonsurgical and surgical prescribing practices.

Surgeons within the MN Health Collaborative have begun a collaborative effort that uses a specific, nuanced approach to post-surgical opioid prescription. Developed in part as an answer to the lack of evidence-based guidelines for post-operative opioid use, the approach is based on available literature, expert consensus and community data relevant to the effort. These best practices and learnings will also be distributed to the healthcare community at large as our efforts progress.

The MN Health Collaborative’s charter includes a specific goal to help reduce and eventually eliminate opioid overdose deaths, as well as provide better prevention and treatment practices for opioid addiction. These practices require a multi-pronged approach including stricter prescription guidelines, improved drug disposal, true care coordination, and stronger education and support for both patients and providers. The new approach to post-operative opioid prescription expands upon the State of Minnesota’s Department of Human Services (DHS) newly released guidelines.

“We applaud DHS on its new guidelines, and want to build on that foundation by testing the approach recommended by surgeons within the MN Health Collaborative. We believe this work will provide a clearer determination of the varying pain management needs required by different surgical procedures. This effort will help support a significant need to develop more patient-centered prescription practices where opioids are concerned.”

Claire Neely, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for ICSI

Also in development are system improvements for chronic pain management, identification and treatment of addiction, and tapering patients off or to lower doses of opioids.  Finally, the Collaborative organizations are creating increased awareness and options for disposal of controlled substances.