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Guidelines issued for prescribing of opiates in the ED

On May 7, Ohio ACEP joined Gov. John Kasich in announcing statewide guidelines for patient education and the prescribing of opiates in hospital emergency departments and urgent care facilities. Ohio ACEP members Drs. Dawn Prall, Maury Witkoff and Matt Sanders worked alongside the co-chairs of the Governor’s Opiate Action Team (GOCAT), Dr. Ted Wymsylo and Dr. Bonnie Kantor-Burman, to develop the guidelines. GOCAT’s Emergency Department Professional Education Work Group was tasked with developing the written recommendations designed to help hospital emergency departments address patient expectations and common considerations when prescribing opioids and other controlled substances. The guidelines do not replace clinical judgment.

Ohio ACEP applauds the efforts of Gov. Kasich, State Representative Dr. Terry Johnson and Senator Dave Burke in their efforts to staunch the flow of illegally used prescription drugs, close “pill mills” and to address the epidemic in prescription-drug abuse and unintentional death. In fact, Ohio’s emergency physicians were among the first at the table to suggest guidelines for the emergency department.

“Emergency physicians are trained to assess and treat emergency and urgent conditions and to save lives. We are on the front lines when it comes to preventing unintentional death and correcting injury, and we support these efforts to curb the abuse caused by diversion of prescription drugs,” said Tom Lukens, MD, Ohio ACEP President.

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