Prescription opiate abuse is an epidemic in America; our population suffers from the results of over thirty years of mismanagement of prescription pain medications among providers and manufacturers as well as lack of information regarding the potential for substance abuse that these medicines have (Sofer, 2019). For this discussion, the focus will be on the efforts taken by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and its evidence-based approach to deal with this issue.
Acknowledging that substance abuse disorder is a disease was the first step that allowed funding allocation to this matter (Sofer, 2019). The CMS decided to take a multi-level approach to address the opioid crisis, with strategies involving all the major stakeholders. First, it disseminated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to prescribe narcotics among primary care providers safely. It also promoted the enforcement of prescription medication databases that allowed doctors and pharmacies to communicate more efficiently and reduce the potential for interaction and over medication. Lastly, to improve the current data that shows that only 20% of people with a substance abuse problem receive treatment, it expanded coverage for substance abuse treatment for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries (CMS, 2020).
While certainly there is a long road ahead of us to tackle the opioid epidemic, there is great potential in the measures taken by the CMS so far. According to Boller (2017), to improve patient safety, there should be a focus on interprofessional collaboration, patient-focused care, evidence-based practice, and an emphasis on quality and informatics. I believe that the measures taken by the CMS will set a reliable base for these goals to be met and ultimately improve patient outcomes.
Boller, J. (2017). Nurse educators: Leading healthcare to the quadruple aim sweet spot. Journal of Nursing Education, 56(12), 707-708. doi:10.3928/01484834-20171120-01
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2020). CMS Roadmap strategy to fight the opioid crisis. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/Agency-Information/Emergency/Downloads/Opioid-epidemic-roadmap.pdf
Sofer, D. (2019). Americaʼs Problem with Opioid Abuse Takes Its Toll on Nursing, Too. AJN, American Journal of Nursing, 119(4), 17–18. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.NAJ.0000554541.95395.53
I reviewed the website of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). The AANP is a professional nursing organization for nurse practitioners of all specialties. The main goal of this organization is to advance quality healthcare: with education, practice, leadership, advocacy, and research. (AANP, 2019).
This health organization’s work is grounded in EBP, evident in its purpose and position. The AANP teaches and encourages nurse practitioners to use evidence-based practice as a crucial tool for delivering high-quality patient care and promoting patient outcomes. (USAHS, 2020).
While searching through the website, I found EBP located in several areas. There are articles referring to the importance of evidence-based practice, and it shares research findings of success using evidence-based practice interventions. Also, the website offers multiple EBP resources, such as Foundations of evidence-based practice in healthcare. It is a free, online course that teaches current trends and strategies to overcome barriers in the individual’s current practice settings. It teaches the importance of EBP in improving healthcare quality and patient outcomes. (Melnyk, 2018).
The information I discovered did not change my perception of the organization; it only enhanced it. I would have assumed an organization like this would contain a solid grounding of EBP. However, I was intrigued to discover how immensely rooted it is in EBP, from nurse practitioners’ listed standard of practice to resources to positions. Also, in my opinion, if it were based solely on the website, it would be easy to conclude that the AANP offers more as an organization than the ANA.
AANP. (2019, September). The american association of nurse practitioners is now 100,000 members strong. Retrieved from https://www.aanp.org/news-feed/the-american-association-of-nurse-practitioners-aanp-is-now-100-000-strong#:~:text=AANP’s%20mission%20is%20to%20empower,what%20guides%20us%20every%20day.
Melnyk, B. (2018, October). Why choose evidence based practice? Retrieved from https://www.aanp.org/news-feed/why-choose-evidence-based-practice.
USAHS. (2020, August). The role of evidence-based practice in nursing. Retrieved from https://www.usa.edu/blog/evidence-based-practice/.