The Action Team will publish an NQP Playbook that focuses on improving prescribing practices and identifying strategies and tactics for managing care of individuals who are at high risk of becoming dependent on opioids, while building on current public- and private-sector efforts to address the opioid epidemic. NQP will release the Playbook in March at NQF’s 2018 Annual Conference. NQP will model the Playbook after other successful efforts to tackle national healthcare priorities, including National Quality Partner's Playbook: Antibiotic Stewardship in Acute Care, which has become an essential resource to help physicians, pharmacists, and healthcare organizations implement strategies to promote the appropriate and safe use of antibiotics.
The NQP Leadership Consortium identified the nation’s growing opioid crisis as a priority area of focus during an in-person meeting in mid-2017. The number of opioid prescriptions written each year in the United States has quadrupled in less than two decades, without a resulting change in pain reported by patients. Nearly 2 million people suffer from prescription opioid disorder, with the highest and fastest-growing rates of diagnoses among Medicare (more than 6 per 1,000) and Medicaid beneficiaries (8.7 per 1,000). Opioid stewardship is also a key area of focus for NQF’s president and CEO, Shantanu Agrawal, MD, MPhil, who saw the effects of the opioid epidemic firsthand as an emergency department physician.
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