Effect of an opioid prescribing protocol on provider prescribing behavior

March 23, 2018, International & American Associations for Dental Research

At the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR), held in conjunction with the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), Chad Lowell Wagner, University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, Minneapolis, presented a poster titled "Effect of an Opioid Prescribing Protocol on Provider Prescribing Behavior." The AADR/CADR Annual Meeting is in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. from March 21-24, 2018.

Opioid abuse continues to cause harm on epidemic proportions. Dental providers are leading prescribers, specifically to individuals under 18 years of age. To address this issue the University of Minnesota Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery implemented an prescribing protocol for the treatment of post-surgical pain. A retrospective analysis was used to evaluate the use of at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, prior to and following implementation of the opioid prescribing protocol.

"Our compares the number of total opioid prescriptions and the number of tablets per prescription in the previous 10 quarters prescribed by the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry," said Wagner.

Prescription data was collected from institutional electronic health record software for FDA schedule opioids written within the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry and statistical analysis was completed.

The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry wrote 5,279 opioid prescriptions across all departments in the five quarters prior to the introduction of the opioid protocol on October 1, 2016. The five quarters following the introduction of the Opioid Prescribing Protocol in February 2016, 2,792 opioid prescriptions were written—a 47.1% overall decrease in number of opioid prescriptions written.

"There has been a linear decrease in the number of opioid prescriptions written since the introduction of the protocol in first quarter of 2016," said Wagner. "Our results support the hypothesis that an opioid prescribing protocol would be successful in decreasing the total number of opioid prescriptions written and number of tablets dispensed per prescription while appropriately addressing postoperative pain."

Explore further: Most ophthalmologists write few opioid prescriptions

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