CANNAHEALTH The Opioid Epidemic - Page 6

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ON A SCALE OF

ONE TO TEN

Despite 20 years of work by educators, clinicians, professional organizations and the publication of clinical practice guidelines, there have been, at best, modest improvements in pain management practices

So, what year was it that pain became a vital sign? I remember when we had to add it to our flow sheets, " on a scale from 1 – 10”. The newly approved Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) pain management standards presents an important opportunity for widespread and sustainable improvement in pain assessment and management. Unrelieved pain is a major, yet avoidable, public health problem.

Despite 20 years of work by educators, clinicians, and professional organizations and the publication of clinical practice guidelines, there have been, at best, modest improvements in pain management practices. Multiple barriers found in the health care system, and among health care professionals, patients, and families, continue to impede progress. In August 1997, a collaborative project was initiated to integrate pain

assessment and management into the standards, intent statements, and examples of implementation of JCAHO—a rare opportunity to improve pain management in health care facilities throughout the country.

After review by multiple JCAHO committees and advisory groups and critique by an expert panel, the JCAHO Board of Commissioners approved the revisions in May 1999.

The revisions are

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Knowledge