Premier Inc. Letter to FDA on Pain Management and Safe Use of Opioids Last Updated: May 16, 2017
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By Lynda Martin, Premier, Director Clinical Operations and Premier’s Hospital Improvement Innovation Network

Good morning, I am Lynda Martin from Premier Inc and am the director clinical operations and Premier’s Hospital Improvement Innovation Network. Thank you for the opportunity to represent Premier, which is a membership organization with a large national footprint. We work with more than 3,750 hospitals, hundreds of thousands of clinicians and 130,000 other sites of care across the country.

Together with our members we transform healthcare from the inside out by developing solutions to address the most pressing needs of patients, providers and suppliers. We have demonstrated time and again that we can measurably improve patient outcomes while safely reducing the cost of care on a large scale through collaborative activities across our member providers.

Today we want to encourage the FDA to consider four things that could change how healthcare providers are educated and how they treat patients using pain management and safe use of opioid analgesics.

First, we feel that best practices currently exist to train providers to effectively use alternative pain management techniques, however they need to be further tested in real world settings.

Second, we would like to encourage the FDA to consider partnering with other organizations, such as Premier, for use of a technical and adaptive approach and as a way of disseminating best practices among providers and non-providers across the country and care settings and supporting the implementation of those practices on a large scale.

Third, we would like to encourage the FDA to take advantage of existing data sources, and utilize additional registry platforms to monitor opioid use and measure the impact of implementing best practices.

Fourth, and lastly but not least, we would like to encourage the FDA to include a patient-centered approach to training and education, on pain management and safe use of opioid analgesics, that involves the patient as partners in their care in order to promote mutual understanding and expectations of the pain management treatment plan, and to increase patient compliance with self-management and to decrease opioid misuse.

Our experience at Premier has shown this methodology to be effective at improving care for patients regardless of the setting. As an example, we have been monitoring the use of naloxone reversal among acute inpatients with opioids administered during their hospital stay, as well as opioid-related adverse drug events per 10,000 patients with our current data sources for one of the collaboratives we are running. We have found this to be an effective way to identify organizations that are doing things well and those that have opportunities for improvement. Subsequently we work with them to educate providers and non-providers and implement best practices. We then use the measures to track the progress and to help refine action plans to close gaps.

To date we have seen improvements, however we feel there is much more to be done in this space.

Once again, on behalf of Premier, we would like to thank you for your time today and we look forward to being supportive in this important work.

    -By Lynda Martin, Premier, Director Clinical Operations and Premier’s Hospital Improvement Innovation Network