IRVING, Texas (BUSINESS WIRE), June 10, 2020 - Fifty million adults in the U.S. suffer from chronic pain daily, and according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, it is the number one reason patients seek medical advice. To help health systems better manage patients suffering from chronic pain, and to address the estimated annual $635 billion in costs associated with it, Vizient, Inc. today published a guide for establishing a comprehensive pain management program, created through the collaborative efforts of Vizient and clinicians from five member hospitals. The Comprehensive Pain Management Guide can be viewed here.

“Health care providers continually face challenges as they work to address chronic pain management in their communities. The opioid crisis has exacerbated these challenges as both providers and patients seek effective options. Establishing a program that enables an appropriate level of care within local health systems is critical for these patients,” said Jim Lichauer, PharmD, performance improvement program director, pharmacy for Vizient.

Guidance provided to hospitals includes the following:

  • Comprehensive Assessment of Target Patients – This includes patients with spine injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders, as well as conditions not commonly addressed including neuropathy and headache disorders
  • Establishing a Formal Referral Program – There are various sources for referrals, including primary care, emergency medicine, etc., necessitating a formal process be established. This includes the importance of accounting for patient self-referrals, as many chronic pain patients may have experienced ineffective care
  • Assessment of Available Resources – Development of a comprehensive pain program is complex and hospitals must assess the available resources in their community, while identifying gaps and opportunities for considering business partnerships and/or growth opportunities

The guide also lays out pharmacological, non-pharmacological and interventional pain management strategies and provides metrics to assist in establishing a systematic way for evaluating a comprehensive pain program that provides fundamental measures of success.

“The issue of pain management for patients is one that isn’t going to go away. We believe this guide can serve as a road map for improved coordination as well as serve as an opportunity to improve operational performance for health systems,” said Lichauer.

About Vizient, Inc.

Vizient, Inc. provides solutions and services that improve the delivery of high-value care by aligning cost, quality and market performance for more than 50% of the nation’s acute care providers, which includes 95% of the nation’s academic medical centers, and more than 20% of ambulatory providers. Vizient provides expertise, analytics and advisory services, as well as a contract portfolio that represents more than $100 billion in annual purchasing volume, to improve patient outcomes and lower costs. Vizient has earned a World’s Most Ethical Company designation from the Ethisphere Institute every year since its inception. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Vizient has offices throughout the United States. Learn more at www.vizientinc.com.


Angie Boliver
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