June 2011

Opioid Risk Reduction Strategies Are Infrequently Used in Primary Care

August 22, 2011

Compliance Monitoring

Physicians need better tools for identifying patients at higher risk of opioid abuse and misuse, as well as better guidance on managing chronic pain patients. Is the limited use of opioid risk reduction tools in the primary care setting due to providers shunning the use of these tools because of a lack of good quality evidence supporting their effectiveness, or do primary care providers "lack a systematic way of identifying high-risk patients who need to be monitored closely?"

Becoming a Certified Buprenorphine Prescriber

August 22, 2011

Opioid addiction and dependence

Buprenorphine is an effective treatment for patients who are addicted to opioids and, because it can be prescribed in a take-home dose, is an attractive alternative to methadone. Physicians who wish to prescribe buprenorphine in their practice must first meet several qualifications and obtain a waiver from SAMHSA and an identification number from the DEA. This article outlines the application process and includes links to additional online resources and support.

Pain Management after Hip Fracture in Older Patients

August 22, 2011

Geriatric pain medicine

According to a recent systematic review, limited evidence exists to guide clinicians on the best approaches for managing pain in older (> 50 years of age) patients who have suffered a hip fracture. The strongest evidence supports nerve blockade to improve acute pain and to reduce risk for delirium. Data also suggest that preoperative traction does not improve relief from acute pain.

Online Pediatric Pain Management Resources

August 22, 2011

Pediatric pain medicine

Physician lack of awareness, expertise, and experience with assessing and treating pain in children and adolescents has been identified as a key contributing factor in the widespread undertreatment of pain in this population. The online modules described below provide useful information and training that can be applied in the clinical setting to improve patient care.

The DEA Has Given the Green Light for Electronically Prescribing Controlled Substances

August 22, 2011

Feature Article

It has been legal to transmit prescriptions for federally designated controlled substances electronically since June 2010. Yet, few of the physicians who already have embraced electronic prescribing have been able to take advantage of the change in the law.

Tablet PCs Have Finally Arrived in Health Care

August 22, 2011

Gadget Watch

After years of false starts and disappointing products and software, a new generation of tablet PCs, led by the Apple iPad, appears poised for widespread adoption in the clinical setting. What makes the current crop of devices so useful for busy physicians? It all comes down to the perfect combination of form and function.