HealthDay News — A large, sustained reduction in opioid prescribing by emergency clinicians is possible through an intervention using direct, personalized feedback to clinicians and an electronic dashboard for peer comparison, according to a study published in the May issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Jonathan J. Oskvarek, M.D., from Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio, and colleagues evaluated the effect of a personalized feedback and peer comparison intervention on emergency clinician opioid prescription rates in a national emergency clinician group (including 924 physicians and 472 advanced practice providers). Data included 5.3 million discharges from 102 emergency departments in 17 states (Jan. 1, 2019, to July 31, 2021).

The researchers found that opioid prescription rates did not change meaningfully in the site-level director feedback period, but during the direct clinician feedback period, opioid prescription rates declined from 10.4 per 100 discharges to 8.4 per 100 discharges, a 19 percent relative reduction. In the direct feedback period, among prescribers in the highest initial quintile, opioid prescribing dropped by 35 percent among physicians and 41 percent among advanced practice providers.


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“This research gives clinicians and administrators a promising model for limiting opioid prescribing in a variety of different emergency department settings,” Oskvarek said in a statement. “Emergency physicians are setting a strong example for prescribers by prioritizing alternatives to opioids when appropriate, a choice that goes a long way toward preventing opioid overdoses.”

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