soldier flagKENTUCKY (2/25/14) — The Department of Veterans Affairs has initiated a multi-faceted approach to reduce the use of opioids among America’s Veterans using VA health care.

The Opioid Safety Initiative is a comprehensive effort to improve the quality of life for the hundreds of thousands of Veterans suffering from chronic pain.

Launched in October 2013 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, OSI is already demonstrating success in lowering dependency on this class of drugs. At eight sites of care in Minnesota, OSI practices have decreased high-dose opioid use by more than 50 percent.

OSI incorporates the team approach with the goal of reducing opioid use by alleviating a Veterans’ pain using non-prescription methods.

There is an emphasis on patient education, close patient monitoring with frequent feedback and Complementary and Alternative Medicine practices like acupuncture.

“We have developed and implemented joint pain management guidelines which encourage the use of other medications and therapies in lieu of habit forming opiates,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “Early results give us hope that we can reduce the use of opioids for Veterans suffering with chronic pain and share these best practices across our healthcare networks.”

The Opioid Safety Initiative faces the challenge of opioid dependency with an innovative and comprehensive plan that closely monitors VA’s dispensing practices system-wide and coordinates pain management to include patient and provider education, testing and tapering programs, and alternative therapies like acupuncture and behavior therapy.

Veterans enrolled in the VA health care system suffer from high rates of chronic pain.

Each VA facility employs personnel including Interdisciplinary Pain Medicine Specialty Teams and Consult Services, Facility Pain Committees, Pharmacy staff and Primary Care/PACT, and other professionals to accomplish the goals and objectives of the OSI.

VA has developed patient management initiatives including Pain Coach, which is a pain management app available for download by patients receiving pain management treatments, a Veterans’ Health Library, including a Patient/Family Management Toolkit, and resources for Pain Management on My HealtheVet.

All of these applications allow Veterans to better manage their pain without the use of opioids.

VA‘s measurement-based pain care includes the “Pain Scale,” which reduces uncertainty and helps Veterans by discussing the potential benefits of a medication and possible side-effects.

“The Opioid Safety Initiative is an example of VHA’s personalized, proactive and patient-centered approach to health care. We are also using a full-range of support treatments for Veterans, including Complementary and Alternative Medicine ,” said Dr. Robert Petzel, VA’s Under Secretary for Health. “We are delivering health care with the patient’s long-term personal health goals at the forefront.”

For more information, Veterans should contact their primary care health team. Visit U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs to learn more.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Job Corps Students Participate in Relay for Life

GREENVILLE, Ky. (6/30/15) — The staff and students of the Muhlenberg Job Corps Center were proud to participate in the… Read More

Accident at Intersection Results in Injuries

HENDERSON, Ky. (6/30/15) — According to a Henderson Police Department report, on June 28, 2015, Henderson EMS, fire and… Read More
1 DOW 17,718.25
+98.74 (0.56%)    
2 S&P 2,073.81
+10.70 (0.52%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,005.44
+18.57 (0.37%)    

Most Read This Week

June 25, 2015 4389

Accused Synthetic Drug Traffickers Remain in U.S.…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
June 29, 2015 4244

UPDATE: Victim of Home Invasion/Homicide Died of…

by SurfKY News
June 28, 2015 3338

'Curb Service’ at Local Eatery Ends with DUI…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
June 29, 2015 3245

Alleged Breast Display Ends in Domestic Assault…

by SurfKY News
June 29, 2015 3165

Accused Synthetic Marijuana Traffickers Appear in…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

June 24, 2015 44761

Western Kentucky, Southern Indiana's Largest…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
June 19, 2015 11198

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

by Barry Franklin

Stories Trending Now

June 29, 2015 3165

Accused Synthetic Marijuana Traffickers Appear in…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
June 30, 2015 2916

Earlingman Faces Multiple Charges after Alleged…

by SurfKY News
June 30, 2015 1184

Hope2All Food Bank Opens in Drakesboro

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
June 30, 2015 1143

KRS Accounting Fraud Created Pension Crisis

by Dr. William F. Smith
June 30, 2015 1020

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
June 30, 2015 889

Another ‘Welcomed’ Sign

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
June 30, 2015 773

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
June 30, 2015 732

UofL School of Dentistry Ranked No. 2 in the…

by UofL Health Sciences News
June 29, 2015 722

Muhlenberg Allstars 9-10 Fall to Warren North

by Mike Groves, SurfKY News
June 30, 2015 536

PSC Approves Settlement in KU, LG&E Rate Cases

by Andrew Melnykovych