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Analgesic Outcomes in a Danish Acute Care Hospital Following Electronic Prescribing and Analgesic Self-Administration
journal contributionposted on 2020-08-01, 00:00 authored by Mari BottiMari Botti, Bodil RasmussenBodil Rasmussen, Damien KhawDamien Khaw, I V Kristensen, E B Esmarch, Ana HutchinsonAna Hutchinson
© 2020 American Society for Pain Management Nursing Background: Despite the long-term consequences of poorly controlled postoperative pain, inadequate pain control remains a problem. Aims: To improve the quality of postoperative pain management, the study site, an acute care hospital in Denmark, introduced electronic prescribing with standard order-sets, and allowed patients to self-administer analgesia. This study aimed to describe analgesic prescribing, prescriptions for multimodal analgesia, analgesic administration, and patients’ pain experience, in this context. Design: Point-prevalence survey. Settings: One Danish regional hospital. Participants: Consecutive sample of 286 surgical inpatients comprising 65 orthopaedic, 41 gynaecological, 57 urology and 123 gastrointestinal patients. Methods: We evaluated the quality of postoperative pain management on four postoperative surgical wards using: (1) the Revised American Pain Society Patient Outcome Questionnaire; and (2) patient chart audit. Results: Overall, 89.2% of patients were prescribed a fixed analgesic and 71.7% were prescribed fixed analgesics in multimodal combination. Patterns of multimodal prescribing and administration varied significantly across surgical groups. Patients received 87.7% of available fixed prescriptions and 22.5% of available analgesics prescribed ‘as needed’. However, patients’ worst pain intensity was high (mean = 5.8/10, SD = 2) and 73.4% reported moderate-to-severe worst pain during the previous 24-hours. Patients who self-administered medications used significantly more fixed-schedule paracetamol (p = .018), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (p = .001), weak (p = .035) and strong (p < .001) opioids. Conclusions: The availability of multimodal analgesia was high following the introduction of electronic prescribing. However, gaps remain in the administration of both fixed and ‘as needed’ analgesics for postoperative patients. Findings suggested that allowing patients to self-administer analgesia may increase compliance with fixed schedule prescriptions.