Policies, patient agreements, & workflows

Revise and implement clinic policies, patient agreements, and workflows for health care team members to improve opioid prescribing and care of patients with chronic pain.

Why is this important?

Clinic policies about opioid prescribing for chronic pain create a shared understanding and agreed upon standards about how patients on long-term opioid therapy are to be managed across all providers and staff. It is important the patient agreements are aligned with clinic policies, and many clinics find it helpful to view signed patient agreements as a type of informed consent that is used to communicate risks to patients. Measures to track quality improvement efforts should be informed by the content of the clinic policies and patient agreements.

Defining standards for patient agreements, urine drug tests, and 28 day refill cycles gave XYZ Clinic providers the support they needed when encountering resistance from patients.

Example activities

  • Revise policies to align with evidence-based guidelines
  • Revise patient agreement to support revised policy and educate patients about risks

Self-Assessment Questions Resources