Planned, patient-centered visits

Prepare and plan for the clinic visits of all patients on long-term opioid therapy. Support patient-centered, empathic communication for care of patients on long-term opioid therapy.
ABC Clinic created an “Annual Pain Management” visit that allowed clinicians & patients to have dedicated time to discuss the patient’s pain, set goals, assess risks, and create a tapering plan for the upcoming year when appropriate.

Why is this important?

This is where the team can make a big impact! Care gaps can be identified by “scrubbing charts” the day before or during the morning huddle, resulting in delegation of tasks to different team members to close the gaps. For example, who is going to review the new patient agreement form with the patient and get their signature? Who is going to check the state prescription monitoring program database before the visit? Clinicians and staff can also briefly rehearse how to have difficult conversations with those few patients who have demonstrated aberrant behaviors, such as early prescription refill requests or an abnormal urine drug test.

XYZ Medical Center has morning huddles to identify the chronic pain patients coming in that day, review what their needs are (e.g., urine drug test), and work to complete as much of that work as possible prior to the patient seeing the doctor.

Example activities

  • Use every visit to educate patients about chronic pain management and opioid risks
  • Implement workflows to identify patients on long-term opioid therapy, monitor their charts, and prepare for visits

Self-Assessment Questions Resources