Kaiser Permanente Hawaii is working to improve pain management for joint replacement patients. New guidelines, developed by the state’s largest integrated health care organization, were recently published in Nursing Clinics of North America. The project looked at patients who were using opioids before surgery for pain relief and how opioid tolerance can result in poor pain management and delayed recovery. The findings were also presented at the national conference for the American Society of Pain Management Nursing earlier this month.
“Pain can reduce a patient’s desire and ability to get up and move following surgery,” said Kathleen Doi, APRN, MS, CNS, Pain Management Services. “Movement, especially following joint replacement, is critical to improving range of motion and being able to return to a home setting.”