May 06, 2024 | opioids

Opioid Prescribing Education: A Shared Responsibility

Jennifer Bolen, JD, founder of the Legal Side of Pain, speaks to PAINWeek.

Within the medico-legal landscape of opioid prescribing. Discover how to bridge the knowledge gap on the legalities of opioid prescribing, especially for new physicians and medical students. Gain insights into the importance of understanding the 2022 CDC clinical guidelines for safer opioid prescribing practices. Plus, instantly access actionable tips for enhanced pain management and compliance. Watch the video now!

Audio Transcript

Speaker 1: Hi, I'm Jen Bolin, I'm an attorney and I am happy to be with Pain Week. I practice in the area mostly of federal criminal defense law. Now, I used to be a federal prosecutor. I also do specialty consulting in the area of clinical toxicology, pain management, prescribing and documentation, risk mitigation.

Interviewer: It doesn't appear as if med students typically receive education related to the legalities of treating and prescribing, specifically within the evolving realm of pain management. So given the recent updates to the CDC guidelines though not a legal document per se, do you think this still holds true, or are institutions getting better at equipping clinicians with this information?

Speaker 1: I think institutions are trying to get better at equipping new physicians and medical students with information about proper prescribing. The complexities of opioid prescribing, the complexities of medical care and people in general that require pain management. Because you have the behavioral behavioral health implications, you have a lot of other disciplines that are implicated by this, and there simply isn't enough time in medical school to  deeply cover these topics. So we are left with doing that by good papers being written up, good presentations like those at pain Week and by institutions dedicating time to allow that to happen. You know, in their own facilities within the staffs that support them. And so I think we're making progress. But I really think that part of the problem is just it's it's part of being a human. It's human nature. We get in a hurry to do things, and sometimes our lives are so busy, it is very difficult to slow down and pay attention to, oh, the CDC just published some new material. Let me go read that 100 pages. And today in my lecture that I did on the CDC guidelines and documentation, I asked the audience. I said, how many of you be honest, have not read these 2022 guidelines? And many, many, many people raised their hands.

And I said, I get that. It's 100 pages. I've read it. I've read it from start to finish. But it took a lot of time and a lot of sessions sitting down to do that and analyzing them, and it really is part of your obligation. If you're going to pick up the pen, so to speak, and write a prescription for a controlled substance. And there's a lot of latitude given to you in that, a lot of benefit of the doubt in terms of preserving your discretion. But if you don't take an interest and be proactive about the recommendations and the implementation considerations in the guidelines, then kind of shame on you if something bad happens, because that's part of how we all make progress and contribute to a better place for patients that need pain management. And so you know, I'm excited about the progress, but I still think there's a deficit in education at the newest level of physician. And we're getting there. It's getting better. But sometimes the message is don't prescribe. It's just easier to do the procedures. That is the absolute wrong message.