Mitigating the Opioid Crisis for Wound Care Providers Using Opioid Stewardship.Wounds. 2020 Jun; 32(6):146-151.W
Opioids are an effective form of analgesia for pain treatment during wound treatment. Overprescribing of opioid agents has become detrimental to the public health of the United States. One of the most difficult challenges for any wound care prescriber is to balance the potential benefits versus the potential risks of opioid prescribing. Addressing the opioid crisis requires an interprofessional team approach. The utilization of an opioid stewardship program provides the necessary framework to identify gaps in the quality and development in the implementation of a change of long-standing opioid culture and practice. These programs address opioid prescribing, treatment for opioid use disorder, educational initiatives, and the use of information technology. A few acronyms have been created to assist providers to guide them when prescribing opioids. The purpose of this article is to explore the central theme of responsible opioid pain management. It will introduce, define, and defend with clinical-based evidence a proposed acronym, "MORPHINE," to assist and help shape prescription opioid strategies used for wound care treatment. Implications for practicing wound care specialists need to acknowledge the potential harm that prescribing opioids may cause to their patients.