According to Care Excellence team members Judy Henderson, Director, and Tina Jacobs, Project Manager, in early 2014, requests from various Ascension health ministries for pain assessment tools and pain management guidelines led to a national Pain Management Summit. There, clinicians from across the continuum of care focused on the need for a standardized approach.

From that input, the Care Excellence team published the 2016 Pain Assessment Tool and Pain Management Guidelines, which are now in the process of being implemented across Ascension. “Further, we are engaged with a group of Ascension primary care providers and regularly partner with other Ascension teams to educate, monitor and continuously improve both our System-wide pain assessment tools and pain management guidelines,” said Henderson.

In addition, Ascension is engaged with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) to focus on opportunities to deprescribe medication therapy in our patients, including opioid therapy.  Through this participation, Ascension sites are developing and implementing processes reduce the use of pain and sedative medications in both acute and long term care settings.