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Did anyone study or ask patients about their pain levels? I've met with several patients who have had less pain meds post proceedure and many are suffering. Are you reducing opiates to make the CDC happy at the expense of good patient care?

Jodi K. Baker BS, RN

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Replies to "Did anyone study or ask patients about their pain levels? I've met with several patients who..."

Please see a response from Elizabeth Habermann, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Scientific Director for Surgical Outcomes:

Thank you for your question and an opportunity to respond.

Optimal patient care is always our goal. In fact, we have found the CDC recommendations too low for many procedures, including total knee and total hip arthroplasties, so our recommended discharge prescriptions for these two procedures are actually in excess of CDC and current State of Minnesota guidelines of one week or 200 oral morphine equivalents.

In response to your question regarding pain scores, we have studied the relationships between inpatient pain scores and discharge prescription amounts and have work underway to better monitor post-discharge pain scores and pain management needs. However, to our knowledge, patients in need of refills have been able to access them the same way both before and after guideline implementation, yet no difference in refill rate has been noted.

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