ER Pharmacist at Swedish Medical Center Talks About Opioid Safety

– My name is Rachel Duncan and I am an ER pharmacist
at Swedish Medical Center. I think it all started with Colorado American College
of Emergency Physicians forming an opioid task
force about a year ago. And that’s headed up by my colleague, Don Stader. So I’ve been on that for
the past year with him. And we really started to look at, what does opioid use
look like in Colorado? How do we compare to
the rest of the country? And what are the issues surrounding that and how can we address those issues? So as we wrote those guidelines
last summer and fall, we started to get in contact with CHA. And they thought that this
would be a really great project to take statewide. We implemented alternatives to opioids last fall here at Swedish. It was very important that we were lowering patients’ risk of addiction while still appropriately
treating their pain. And so we were very closely tracking our overall patient
satisfaction scores in the ER as well as those
specifically associated with, “How well was your pain controlled?”. And when I look at
where we were a year ago compared to today, we’re about 10 points
higher when it comes to, “How well was your pain controlled?”. We were able to reduce our
IV opioid usage in the ER by bout 25% compared to a year ago, while significantly increasing our patient satisfaction scores, specifically surrounding pain control. I’m incredibly proud of our staff and how hard they worked, especially my nursing staff. And just really being
the champions of this. I went to a nursing leadership meeting and introduced the concept. And it was immediate buy-in from our nursing leadership, our Director and Assistant Director, Vicki and Sheree, as well as my clinical
nurse coordinator group that said, “Yeah, we got it. “We’re gonna make sure
we teach every nurse “how to do this appropriately.” And so I definitely
thought Swedish was prime for showing others that
this could be successful. And so I’m just really
proud of where I work, and I always want to be on
the front line of things and showing others that change is possible and we can improve patient outcomes. (uplifting guitar music)