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J Healthc Qual. 2000 May-Jun;22(3):10-5.

No need for pain.

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Hospital of Saint Raphael, New Haven, CT, USA.


In an attempt to promote as pain free an experience as possible for patients and to improve how pain is managed in all settings, this 500-bed teaching hospital embarked on a hospital-wide quality improvement (QI) initiative. Initial measurement of clinicians' knowledge and attitudes related to pain and surveys on patient satisfaction identified improvement opportunities. Highlights of these findings and the major interventions taken are described. Education of all clinical staff on the major principles of pain management became the primary focus. Major outcomes realized to date have been: (a) a significant increase (p = .01) in physicians and nurses discussing with their patients the importance of managing their pain, (b) development of processes for documenting pain as the fifth vital sign, and (c) a 26% decrease in the use of meperidine. The next steps will be comprehensive monitoring of the effectiveness of pain management by clinical service, increased patient and family education on pain, and development of a formalized pain management competency program for clinical staff.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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