Jan
22

Default setting in EM records ‘nudged’ emergency department physicians to limit opioid prescriptions to 10 tablets

From MedicalXPress:

For patients who have never been prescribed opioids, larger numbers of tablets given with the initial prescription is associated with long-term use and more tablets leftover that could be diverted for misuse or abuse. Patients may receive 30 or more opioid tablets in an initial prescription, for example, when a much lesser quantity, such as 10-12 tablets as recommended by current emergency department prescribing guidelines, would suffice. Implementing a default option for a lower quantity of tablets in the electronic medical records (EMR) discharge orders may help combat the issue by “nudging” physicians to prescribe smaller quantities consistent with prescribing guidelines Penn Medicine researchers show in a new study published this week in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The research team found that physicians from two Penn Medicine emergency departments prescribed a fewer number of opioid pills to their patients when the EMR default setting was set to 10 tablets. Initial prescriptions for that amount shot up by 22 percent, from a pre-default rate of 21 percent to 43 percent after the default option had been introduced. Conversely, the number of prescriptions written for 20 tablets decreased by almost 7 percent, and prescriptions for 11 to 19 tablets decreased by over 13 percent.

    JVZoo Product Feed