Jan. 14, 2020 — Designed to help address the opioid epidemic, Florida legislation passed in June imposes additional requirements on health care providers prior to issuing Schedule II opioid drugs for anesthesia or the treatment of pain.
Before prescribing, ordering, dispensing or administering these opioid drugs, the Florida Department of Health outlines specific steps: Providers must inform the patient in advance about non-opioid alternatives for pain treatment, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these alternatives, provide an informational pamphlet developed by the FDOH and document the exchange in the patient’s medical record.
Here at UF Health, as in other health care organizations, a multidisciplinary work group has been clarifying the less specific aspects of the bill to determine how our faculty and staff can best adhere to the guidelines. They have had to address the complexities of the bill, such as the unique needs of surgical patients and how often to repeat the steps to inform and educate a patient during their ongoing or long-term treatment of pain.
In the spring, watch for updated guidelines customized for our hospitals, outpatient practices and surgical services. The patient handouts will be provided by nursing staff at inpatient admission and by providers during outpatient visits via Epic. The workgroup hopes that streamlined steps added in Epic and clear instructions and guidance from faculty, nursing and pharmacy leaders will support our providers and the quality, safe clinical care we provide — and help us remain as efficient as possible in the delivery process.
Thanks for your support as we implement changes.