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Mercy Hospital of Buffalo Improves Patient Care with Pain Management Program

Research shows that ineffective pain management results in unnecessary physical, psychological, and emotional negative outcomes. In response, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo initiated a Pain Management Program and extended their existing hospital-wide interdisciplinary pain team, which included bringing the pharmacist to the patient’s bedside.

The initiative began January 2012 on individual units for four months. Initially, daily pain rounding by the Nurse Manager and the Pharmacist was completed on all new medical-surgical patients and ultimately extended to all medical-surgical patients, resulting in a significant increase in the volume of patient visits. Pain rounding consisted of a team-driven patient pain assessment including pain history, type of pain (acute/chronic), medication reconciliation, pain medication taken prior to admission, currently prescribed analgesics, pre- and post-pain assessments, and existing co-morbidities.

Through these efforts, clinical practices have been strengthened by the adoption of evidence-based best practices and active engagement of physicians and mid-level providers. Daily pain rounding has become hardwired, resulting in the development of a safe, patient-centered pain management plan.