In a recent study, patients who underwent common orthopedic and urologic procedures used an automated text messaging system to report pain levels and opioid use. It turns out that many patients may have been overprescribed opioids, as they had unused medication after achieving pain management, the researchers discovered.
Senior study author M. Kit Delgado, MD, added, “This study has national implications, as it shows that patients only take a fraction of the amounts that we know are prescribed on average across the country. Previously we showed the median amount of opioid pills prescribed to be 40 tablets for knee arthroscopy and 20 tablets for prostate or bladder resections. We are in the process of rolling this automated text messaging platform to additional surgical groups within the health system and will continue to share our learnings to guide practice on a broader scale.”
The results of the study were published in JAMA Network Open.