Opioid ordering habits in the acute emergency department visit: Before and after implementation of departmental prescribing guidelines.
Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians open
Objective: At our emergency department (ED), opioid prescribing guidelines were implemented in September 2016. The opioid prescribing guidelines were adopted and revised from collective efforts and advocacy of the Michigan College of Emergency Physicians for ED-led opioid stewardship. We performed a retrospective before and after study to determine if opioid prescribing guidelines would change the use of intravenous opioids per patient and the morphine equivalent units (MEU) per patient in a suburban academic ED.
Methods: A retrospective observational study was conducted at a tertiary care level 1 trauma center with an annual ED volume of ≈ 130,000 visits. All intravenous orders of fentanyl, morphine, and hydromorphone for adult patients from January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2017, were tabulated. A 3-month (August 2016-October 2016) washout period was used. Poisson and ordinary linear regression analyses were employed to evaluate any difference in number of intravenous opioids ordered before and after adoption of the guidelines. Within our opioid prescribing guidelines was also guidance for oral opioid orders within the ED and oral opioid prescriptions for discharge, although these elements were not included in this investigation.
Results: A total of 108,327 intravenous opioid orders were included in the final analysis. After adoption of the opioid prescribing guidelines, the expected number of intravenous opioids ordered dropped by 3.1% (e
Conclusion: After the adoption of opioid prescribing guidelines, our analysis suggests that opioid prescribing guidelines are associated with clinically small but statistically significant changes in MEU ordered in ED. We cannot determine if this represented a continued trend of decreased opioid use or associated with the opioid prescribing guidelines.
Maloy JD, Chen NW, Qu L, Merwine SJ, Ziadeh J, Berger DA. Opioid ordering habits in the acute emergency department visit: Before and after implementation of departmental prescribing guidelines. J Am Coll Emerg Physicians Open. 2020 Nov 16;1(6):1472-1479. doi: 10.1002/emp2.12320. PMID: 33392552; PMCID: PMC7771767.