VA Accelerates Deployment of Nationwide Opioid Therapy Tool
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is accelerating the deployment of a state-of-the-art tool to help protect veteran patients using high doses of opioids or with medical risk factors that put them at an increased risk of complications from opioid medications.
The tool, referred to as the Opioid Therapy Risk Report, is being made available now to all staff in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). VA’s Interim Under Secretary for Health, Dr. Carolyn Clancy, has reached out to more than 2,000 primary care providers in VHA clinics throughout the country to promote the use of this novel tool. It includes information about the dosages of narcotics and other sedative medications, significant medical problems that could contribute to an adverse reaction and monitoring data to aid in the review and management of complex patients.
“All of American medicine is aiming to better understand how to treat severe pain, and veterans receiving care in the VA health care system typically suffer from higher rates of chronic pain than the general public,” said Clancy.
The Opioid Therapy Risk Report allows VA providers to review all pertinent clinical data related to pain treatment in one place, providing a comprehensive veteran-centered and more efficient level of management.
Overuse and abuse of prescription opioids is a significant public health issue, particularly since patients in pain are at risk for negative outcomes including overdose, medical reactions, and mental health complications.