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Past Event Sticker

PfP – NCD Pacing Event: Opioid Safety

Business Audience Young Female Doctor

Thursday, March 22, 2018, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. PT.

Summary from 3/22 Pacing Event: “Opioid Safety: Hospital-level Successes in Reducing Opioid Use”

This Pacing Event continued the momentum around opioid reductions work that was highlighted by the recent CMS Quality Conference sessions. Specifically, this session focused on programs that are demonstrating success in reducing the use of opioids by implementing protocols and education around alternatives to pain management.

The ALTOSM (Alternatives to Opioids) Program was founded and launched in the St. Joseph’s Health emergency room in New Jersey, and has since become a model for programs seeking to reduce opioids in the hospital setting. The session provided an update on the ALTO work, as well as presented the details of a recent project in Colorado to implement an opioid safety program and reduce opioid prescribing across 10 hospitals.

The session featured presentations from:

  • John Savage, CMPE, PMP, Director, Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, and Diane Rossi MacKay, MSN, RN, CPHQ, Clinical Manager, Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, at the Colorado Hospital Association, who presented their pilot project to implement an opioid safety program to 10 hospitals, including collaboration with other state and professional organizations to develop and implement the program, results achieved, and the plans for the next phase in this work;
  • Alexis LaPietra, DO, FACEP, FAAEM, Chair, ACEP Pain Management Section, and Medical Director of Emergency Medicine Pain Management at St. Joseph’s Health in NJ (NJ HIIN), who provided updates and recent results on the Alternatives to Opioids Program (ALTOSM) she co-created at St. Joseph’s Health, which served as the model from which the Colorado Hospital Association’s program was designed; and
  • Tom Workman, PhD, and Lee Thompson, from the PfP Patient and Family Engagement Contractor (PFEC) team, who discussed the role of patient and family engagement in opioid safety work and drew connections to specific PFE metrics.
  • Both of the programs presented have achieved significant reductions in opioid prescribing as well as increases in the use of alternatives to opioids.

As part of their discussion, the PFEC presented the example of AMITA Health, which used a PFAC to develop pre-surgery guidebooks to educate orthopedic patients about “what to expect” and their pain management options. To view and download these AMITA Health resources, please visit    

To view and download slides and recording from this Pacing Event, click here.

3/22 Pacing Event on opioid safety:  John Savage, CMPE, PMP, and Diane Rossi MacKay, MSN, RN, CPHQ, from the Colorado Hospital Association, shared the morphine conversion table they used to assist in data collection for the Opioid Safety Pilot. The table is available on the CoP with other materials from the event, here.