Goals and Objectives to Optimize the Value of an Acute Pain Service in Perioperative Pain Management

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As newer pharmacologic and procedural interventions, technology, and data on outcomes in pain management are becoming available, effective acute pain management will require a dedicated Acute Pain Service (APS) to help determine the most optimal pain management plan for the patients. Goals for pain management must take into consideration the side effect profile of drugs and potential complications of procedural interventions. Multiple objective optimization is the combination of multiple different objectives for acute pain management. Simple use of opioids, for example, can reduce all pain to minimal levels, but at what cost to the patient, the medical system, and to public health as a whole? Many models for APS exist based on personnel’s skills, knowledge, and experience, but effective use of an APS will also require allocation of time, space, financial, and personnel resources with clear objectives and a feedback mechanism to guide changes to acute pain medicine practices to meet the constantly evolving medical field. Physician-based practices have the advantage of developing protocols for the management of low-variability, high-occurrence scenarios in addition to tailoring care to individual patients with high-variability, low-occurrence scenarios. Frequent feedback and data collection/assessment on patient outcomes is essential in evaluating the efficacy of the APS’s intervention in improving patient outcomes in the acute and perioperative setting.

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