San Diego Hospitals Adopt New Painkiller Policy

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San Diego Hospitals Adopt New Painkiller Policy
 
By Kenny Goldberg, KPBS Radio News

SAN DIEGO — San Diego and Imperial County hospitals have a new policy aimed at curbing the
epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse. Patients going to emergency departments willfeel the difference.
 
Health officials say the problem of prescription painkiller abuse has gotten out of hand.
 
Dr. Eric McDonald, San Diego County’s deputy public health officer, said 269 San Diegans died of
prescription drug overdoses last year.

"For every death, there are 20 people coming into emergency departments, there are hundreds of people
that are actually abusing prescription pain medicines," McDonald said.
Under the new voluntary guidelines, emergency departments will no longer dispense 30-day-supplies of
narcotics like Vicodin.

And they won’t prescribe long-term painkillers like OxyContin, either.

Scripps Mercy Hospital’s Dr. Roneet Lev explained why.

"Those are especially dangerous, more dangerous than the short-acting medications," Lev said. "And in
someone who comes to the emergency department, a broken bone, a ruptured appendix, anything like
that, you don’t need long-acting pain prescriptions, you need something for short term."

Lev said people who legitimately suffer from chronic pain need to get their drugs from their regular doctor,
not emergency departments.

"And our policy is not to refill prescriptions, and not to give prescriptions for someone who’s getting them
elsewhere," Lev said. "The safe way about it is to have one provider, and one pharmacy, for any pain
prescriptions. And we’re going to honor that."

Prescription drug overdoses are the No. 1 cause of accidental death in San Diego County.

To listen to the broadcast:

TV News Story: San Diego Emergency Departments To Crack Down On Painkiller Abuse

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TV News Story: San Diego Emergency Departments To Crack Down On Painkiller Abuse –

This story was posted and aired on March 5, which Dr. Lev and a HOPE family helped to bring together. This is a great heads-up story that defines the problem and proposed voluntary guidelines for Safe Pain Medicine Prescribing:
   
http://www.kpbs.org/news/2013/mar/05/san-diego-emergency-departments-crack-down-painkil/ 
   
Thanks to Dr. Lev and others for great interviews!

IEPC Annual Board Meeting

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IEPC Annual Board Meeting –

IEPC is proud to announce it’s 2013 Leadership
 
President                                                                Roneet Lev
Vice President                                                        Russ Kino
Vice President                                                        Steve Sornsin
Secretary                                                                Mike Gertz
Treasurer                                                                Cary Mells
Web and Marketing Committee Chairs                   Valerie Norton
Billing Best Practice Committee Chairs                  Steve Sornsin
Site Survey Committee Chair                                  Roneet Lev
Data and Best Practices Committee Chairs            Steve Shea

San Diego County Opioid Prescribing Summit

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San Diego County Opioid Prescribing Summit –

Safe Pain Medication Guidelines approved by San Diego County Medical Society and the Emergency Community of San Diego and Imperial County.

On February 2013 the emergency department leaders of every emergency department in San Diego and Imperial County gathered for a historical meeting to approve pain medication guidelines for the emergency department. The guidelines are based on the "Oxy Free" Model of Washington State. The principles of the guidelines were that we wanted a unified document for all the emergency departments and for all the emergency providers. We wanted to avoid the "candy man" or "candy land" phenomenon of having some docs or EDs proving more opioids. The guidelines are pending endorsement from the San Diego and Imperial Health Department and Hospital Association. The goal is that every ED will have a sign a similar sign in the waiting room listing the 10 Principles that were adopted.

Safe Pain Medicine Prescribing in the Emergency Department

We care about you. We are committed to treating you safely and in the right way. Pain relief treatment can be complicated. Mistakes or abuse of pain medicine can cause serious health problems and death. Our emergency department will only provide pain relief options that are safe and correct.

For your SAFETY, we follow these rules when helping you with your pain.

1. We look for and treat emergencies. We use our best judgment when treating pain. These recommendations follow legal and ethical advice.

2. You should only have ONE provider and ONE pharmacy helping you with pain. We do not usually prescribe pain medicine if you already receive pain medicine from another health care provider.

3. If pain prescriptions are needed for pain, we can only give you enough medicine to last you until you can contact your doctor.

4. We do not refill stolen prescriptions. We do not refill lost prescriptions. If your prescription is stolen, please contact the police

5. We do not prescribe these long acting pain medicines: OxyContin, MSContin, Dilaudid, Fentanyl (Duragesic), Methadone, Opana ER, Exalgo, and Others.

6. We do not provide missing doses of Subutex, Suboxone, or Methadone.

7. We do not usually give shots for flare-ups of chronic pain. Medicines taken by mouth may be given instead.

8. Health care laws, including HIPAA, allow us to ask you for your medical records. These laws allow us to share information with other health providers who are treating you.

9. We may ask you to show a photo ID when you receive a prescription for pain medicines.

10. We use the California Prescription Drug Monitoring Program called CURES. This system keeps track of narcotic and other controlled substance prescriptions.

If you need help with substance abuse or addition, please call 1-888-724-7240 for confidential referral and treatment.