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The American Journal of Managed Care August 2018
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Paul Crits-Christoph, PhD; Robert Gallop, PhD; Elizabeth Noll, PhD; Aileen Rothbard, ScD; Caroline K. Diehl, BS; Mary Beth Connolly Gibbons, PhD; Robert Gross, MD, MSCE; and Karin V. Rhodes, MD, MS
Choosing Wisely Clinical Decision Support Adherence and Associated Inpatient Outcomes
Andrew M. Heekin, PhD; John Kontor, MD; Harry C. Sax, MD; Michelle S. Keller, MPH; Anne Wellington, BA; and Scott Weingarten, MD
Precision Medicine and Sharing Medical Data in Real Time: Opportunities and Barriers
Y. Tony Yang, ScD, and Brian Chen, PhD, JD
Levers to Reduce Use of Unnecessary Services: Creating Needed Headroom to Enhance Spending on Evidence-Based Care
Michael Budros, MPH, MPP, and A. Mark Fendrick, MD
From the Editorial Board: Michael E. Chernew, PhD
Michael E. Chernew, PhD
Optimizing Number and Timing of Appointment Reminders: A Randomized Trial
John F. Steiner, MD, MPH; Michael R. Shainline, MS, MBA; Jennifer Z. Dahlgren, MS; Alan Kroll, MSPT, MBA; and Stan Xu, PhD
Impact of After-Hours Telemedicine on Hospitalizations in a Skilled Nursing Facility
David Chess, MD; John J. Whitman, MBA; Diane Croll, DNP; and Richard Stefanacci, DO
Baseline and Postfusion Opioid Burden for Patients With Low Back Pain
Kevin L. Ong, PhD; Kirsten E. Stoner, PhD; B. Min Yun, PhD; Edmund Lau, MS; and Avram A. Edidin, PhD
Patient and Physician Predictors of Hyperlipidemia Screening and Statin Prescription
Sneha Kannan, MD; David A. Asch, MD, MBA; Gregory W. Kurtzman, BA; Steve Honeywell Jr, BS; Susan C. Day, MD, MPH; and Mitesh S. Patel, MD, MBA, MS
Evaluating HCV Screening, Linkage to Care, and Treatment Across Insurers
Karen Mulligan, PhD; Jeffrey Sullivan, MS; Lara Yoon, MPH; Jacki Chou, MPP, MPL; and Karen Van Nuys, PhD
Currently Reading
Reducing Coprescriptions of Benzodiazepines and Opioids in a Veteran Population
Ramona Shayegani, PharmD; Mary Jo Pugh, PhD; William Kazanis, MS; and G. Lucy Wilkening, PharmD

Reducing Coprescriptions of Benzodiazepines and Opioids in a Veteran Population

Ramona Shayegani, PharmD; Mary Jo Pugh, PhD; William Kazanis, MS; and G. Lucy Wilkening, PharmD
This study evaluated a passive clinical pharmacist intervention to reduce the coprescribing of benzodiazepines and opioid analgesics by using chart review notes to alert providers.
ABSTRACT

Objectives: Combination opioid and benzodiazepine (BZD) therapy is associated with poor treatment outcomes and increased risk of overdose death. There is currently limited literature detailing well-implemented strategies to minimize dual prescribing of these agents. The following describes the implementation processes and outcomes of a health system quality improvement project that aimed to reduce combination BZD and opioid therapy. 

Study Design: A retrospective chart review–based quality improvement project.

Methods: All patients within a single healthcare system of the Department of Veterans Affairs treated with long-term (>90 days) combination therapy were identified. A psychiatric pharmacist submitted a 1-time chart review note for each patient, which briefly outlined patient-specific considerations and recommendations for alternatives to BZD treatment. After a 30-day period following entry of the chart review notes, data were collected regarding the number of providers who (1) acknowledged the chart review notes by providing their additional signature and (2) committed to the recommended interventions by initiating taper schedules. 

Results: During the 30-day follow-up period, 47.5% (n = 29) of chart review notes were acknowledged and 11.5% (n = 7) of prescriptions were tapered by providers. Mental health providers were less likely to provide their additional signature to the chart review notes (χ2 = 4.62, df = 1, P = .0316; Fisher exact test, P = .0215) and to initiate taper schedules (χ2 = 5.51, df = 1, P = .0189; Fisher exact test, = .0410) compared with primary care providers. 

Conclusions: Chart review note recommendations were frequently disregarded by providers and are likely insufficient as a primary intervention tool for reducing long-term combination BZD and opioid therapy.

Am J Manag Care. 2018;24(8):e265-e269

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