Quality Improvement Initiative to Improve Postoperative Pain with a Clinical Pathway and Nursing Education Program

Dahlia Naqib, Mike Purvin, Rashmi Prasad, Irini M. Hanna, Sandra Dimitri, Angela Llufrio, Marie Hanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background and Aims: We created a multicomponent intervention to improve pain management in the immediate postoperative period with the goal of improving the quality of patient recovery. Design: A multicomponent intervention to improve pain management in the immediate postoperative period with the goal of improving the quality of patient recovery. Settings: Pain management education of postanesthesia recovery room nurses through a practical intervention has the potential to improve patient pain experience, especially in those with a history of opioid tolerance. Participants/Subjects: Postanesthesia recovery nurses/postanesthesia patients. Methods: The intervention included two components: a clinical pain pathway on multimodal analgesia for both opioid-naïve and opioid-tolerant patients undergoing surgery and an educational program on pain management for frontline clinical nurses in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU). We measured the intervention's impact on time to pain relief, PACU length of stay, and patient satisfaction with pain management, as measured by self-report. Results: Patient PACU surveys indicated a decrease in the percent of patients with opioid tolerance who required more than 60 minutes to achieve adequate pain relief (from 32.7% preintervention to 21.3% postintervention). Additionally, after the intervention, the average time from a patient's PACU arrival to his or her discharge criteria being met decreased by 53 minutes and PACU stay prolongation as a result of uncontrolled pain for opioid-tolerant patients decreased from 45.2% to 25.7%. The sample size was underpowered to perform statistical analysis of this improvement. Conclusions: After the combined intervention of a clinical pain pathway and interactive teaching workshop, we noted shortened PACU length of stay, reduced time to reach pain control, and improved overall patient satisfaction. Although we could not determine statistical significance, our findings suggest improved management of acute postoperative pain, especially for patients who are opioid tolerant. Because of the paucity of data, we were not able to conduct the analysis needed to evaluate quality improvement projects, as per SQUIRE 2.0. could be adopted by any institution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPain Management Nursing
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing

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