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Surgeons reduced patients’ post-operative exposure to opioids

Alarmed by the opioid crisis, clinical leaders for Otolaryngology and Urology at a leading health system resolved to reduce their patients’ post-operative exposure to opioids.

Using AdaptX, their anesthesia team first reviewed the real-world effectiveness of existing intraoperative and post-operative drug protocols for their own patients. Leveraging AdaptX’s unique AI, the anesthesiologists identified best practices, and they shared real-world data from their institution to enlist their colleagues in implementation. Empowered by AdaptX to continuously manage their protocols, the anesthesiologists continuously evaluated and adapted their new protocols, seeking to reduce patient’s pain and reduce their PACU and hospital length of stay (LOS). Within just a few months, patients’ need for a “rescue opioid” in PACU had fallen by 30% across Otolaryngology and Urology procedures.

In tandem, their surgical teams used AdaptX to evaluate and improve their opioid prescription practices. In seconds, team leaders were able to identify high variability in opioid prescription practices by surgeon by procedure – surfacing hidden issues that had been obscured by the complexities of their surgical environment. When some surgeons worried that prescribing fewer take-home opioid pills increase patient readmissions to the ER or Urgent Care, the team was able to provide compelling reassurance by comparing real-world outcomes for their patients across prescribing practices. As a result, both the Otolaryngology and Urology teams successfully reduced their opioid prescription pill counts by more than 50% – reducing their patients’ risk of becoming persistent opioid users, without increasing readmissions.