Annual Report 2017 - Page 18

Protecting Keeping the public safe is at the heart of what we do. In 2017, the College took a number of steps to better protect Ontario patients. Opioids Over the last several years, the opioid crisis has had devastating consequences for individuals, families and communities. Like all health-care regulators around the globe, we are deeply concerned about the impact on patients and communities. While prescription opioids are an important and useful therapeutic tool for select patients with certain conditions, prescription opioids carry risks, even when prescribed and used appropriately. Addressing the opioid crisis requires system-wide solutions and collaboration amongst government agencies, health-care educators, regulators, physicians and other health professionals to ensure patient well-being and public safety. In 2017, the College developed a strategy that identified and committed us to a specific action plan within our area of responsibility of medical regulation. The plan was grounded in our steadfast commitment to improved patient and public safety. We took a four-pronged approach that reflects our mandate, namely to: Guide; Assess; Investigate; and Facilitate Education for Ontario’s doctors. The strategy is supported through effective communication and collaboration with physicians, the public and health-system partners, and using data and analytics to inform prescribing practices and our regulatory responsibilities. The objectives of the College’s Opioid Strategy are to: Facilitate safe and appropriate opioid prescribing by physicians to patients, Protect patient access to care, and Reduce risk to both patients and the public. The College uses its investigative authority when in receipt of information about potentially concerning prescribing practices inconsistent CPSO ANNUAL REPORT 2017 // page 18