The overall aim of this initiative is to provide education and support to primary care clinicians in the Johns Hopkins Community Physician (JHCP) network so they can provide evidence- and guideline-based care to their chronic pain patients who are prescribed opioids, in order to improve patient outcomes and reduce the risk for opioid misuse or abuse. The intervention is based on analysis of 5 years of data in JHCP's electronic health record (EHR), with the goal of translating successful interventions into other EHR environments, facilitating the use of templates and smart text for appropriate documentation, and making templates for pain contracts available in EHRs.
The Pain Action Consulting Team (PACT): A Mentoring Model program will accomplish this aim by transferring knowledge and skills from pain management experts to primary care physicians (PCPs) to better implement best practices for prescribing of opioid medications for patients with chronic pain. PCPs prescribe more than 70% of opioids. They must be able to balance the benefits of prescribing opioids to treat pain against the risks for serious adverse outcomes, including addiction, unintentional overdose, and death. Unfortunately, many PCPs lack sufficient training in either pain management or substance abuse. Safe and effective Opioid therapy requires clinical skills as well as knowledge in both the principles of opioid prescribing and the assessment and management of risks associated with opioid abuse, addiction, and diversion, which complicate clinical judgment. Therefore, safe and effective pain management through the use of opioids requires both knowledge and skills.