Perioperative Pain Management in the Opioid-Tolerant Patient With Chronic Pain: An Evidence-Based Practice Project

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According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on pain, chronic pain affects an estimated 116 million American adults and costs the nation more than $600 billion each year in medical treatment and lost worker productivity. Many individuals with chronic pain undergo surgical procedures. Safe and effective treatment of their postoperative pain can present a significant challenge to the health care team but is essential to their optimal recovery. Administrators in a community hospital in central Pennsylvania identified a need to improve the care of their patients with chronic pain and supported a hospital-wide initiative to address various aspects of this population's hospital experience. This article presents the first phase of an evidence-based practice project that focused on improving the perioperative pain management in patients with chronic pain who receive long-acting opioids for the treatment of chronic pain before admission for surgery.

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