Dissemination of opioid prescribing guidelines in a rural county reduced diversion of prescribed opioids
This county-wide program, run by a Community Care of North Carolina task force, developed and disseminated a guideline on opioid prescribing for primary care clinicians that encouraged the signing of pain contracts, requiring random drug screens, and requiring random pill counts.
A pivotal role was played by the nurse coordinator in implementing the program in primary care settings and in collecting post-intervention survey data from clinicians.
The major observed outcome was a drop in opioid pill confiscations as reported by law enforcement following guideline implementation. Clinicians also reported being more confident in their ability to manage and treat chronic pain patients.