A growing number of hospitals across the country are rewriting protocols and retraining staff in an effort to minimize opioid prescriptions, PBS NewsHour reports. The changes are most pronounced in emergency departments.
At the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital, emergency room doctors used to give opioid painkillers right away. Dr. Phillip Chang, the hospital’s chief medical officer, says now doctors, pharmacists and nurses use non-opioid pain relievers like Advil or Tylenol first. They try multiple regimens before considering opioids.