Prevention of harm related to pharmaceutical opioids
Rising morbidity and mortality from pharmaceutical opioids has become a well-recognised concern nationally and locally in the Frankston Mornington Peninsula. Misuse of pharmaceutical opioids is the greatest cause of drug-related deaths in Australia. There is a growing body of evidence that hospital initiated opioids are a key risk factor. Frankston Mornington Peninsula Primary Care Partnership (FMP-PCP) and some of its RAD-FMP project partners, namely Peninsula Health and Monash University Addiction Research Centre (MUARC), have been working together to strengthen primary prevention of pharmaceutical harm. An Opioid Stewardship subcommittee has been formed at Peninsula Health, chaired by the Director of Pharmacy and with participation from several departments across the health service, FMP-PCP and MUARC. To gain a greater understanding of factors affecting opioid prescribing amongst hospital-based clinicians, the Opioid Stewardship subcommittee is overseeing a study exploring capability, opportunity and motivation to change opioid prescribing practices. Findings are being used to inform and develop interventions, along with monitoring mechanisms, to ensure that no patient is put at additional risk of developing persistent opioid use as a result of hospital-based care.