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...

Little Miss, Mister Hopkins County Fair Chosen

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (8/1/15) — The Annual Little Miss and Mister Hopkins County Fair Pageant began as 11 couples… Read More

Bluegrass in the Park Folklife Festival Set for Aug. 7-8 in Henderson

HENDERSON, Ky. (8/2/15) — Thirty years, over 250 bands, one riverfront location, one of the first festivals of its kind… Read More
1 DOW 17,689.86
-56.12 (-0.32%)    
2 S&P 2,103.84
-4.79 (-0.23%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,128.28
-0.50 (-0.01%)    

Most Read This Week

July 27, 2015 6035

Death of Central City Man in Dawson Springs Under…

by SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 3807

School System Announces Free Lunch/Breakfast at…

by SurfKY News
July 30, 2015 3498

Webster Man Leads Police on Chase through Parts…

by SurfKY News
July 31, 2015 3456

Miss Hopkins County Fair 2015 Chosen

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 2678

Hanson, Owensboro, Bowling Green Youths Win at…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

July 17, 2015 16424

Muhlenberg Most Wanted - Top 10

by SurfKY News
July 23, 2015 15392

UPDATE: Family Confirms Body of Missing Teen…

by Shawn Freels, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

August 01, 2015 2306

24th Annual Miss Teen Hopkins County Fair Pageant…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 2166

Little Miss, Mister Hopkins County Fair Chosen

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 1589

'Diggers' Return to Find More Hatfield-McCoy…

by SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 1125

Knight Crowned 2015 Miss Pre-Teen Hopkins County…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 977

One Injured in Vehicle Roll-Over Accident

by SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 511

South Korean Automotive Supplier INFAC North…

by SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 494

Who Will Be America's Next President?

by SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 447

Commissioner Comer Honors Kentucky Farmers'…

by SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 430

Keeping the Faith - 'In Scorn of the Consequences'

by SurfKY News