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Knowledge of Outpatient Prescribing Inconsistent

March 29, 2018
Survey reveals knowledge gap in state regulations

A PPM Brief

There is a considerable gap in program directors’ knowledge regarding controlled substance regulations, according to a new survey published by Yorkgitis et al.  Researchers received and analyzed 110 responses from surgery program directors regarding the prescribing of outpatient opioids and patient education.

“Surgical residents are commonly responsible for prescribing opioids at patient discharge, and residency program directors (PDs) are charged with their residents' education,” and, wrote the authors, “each hospital and state has different opioid prescribing policies.” This dynamic makes knowledge of local policies on prescribing and education crucial.

Responses revealed that approximately 95% of those surveyed said their residents are allowed to prescribe outpatient opioids, but only about 58% knew with accuracy whether their state required opioid prescribing education for full licensure; another 20% were unsure. With regard to prescription monitoring programs, 58% answered correctly whether such a program is required in their state, while 26% were unsure. Additional results can be found in the full publication.

Given the results, the authors recommended that surgery program directors be more versed in their state policies regarding opioid regulations. 

Last updated on: March 29, 2018
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