DUBLIN, Ohio, July 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- With philanthropic investments from the Cardinal Health Foundation's Generation Rx program, 10 healthcare organizations across the country will create measurable action plans designed to modify opioid prescribing, increase patient engagement and improve outcomes for patients suffering from chronic, non-cancer pain. The pain management initiatives will help healthcare organizations better engage healthcare providers, patients and caregivers to reduce the number of opioids prescribed for pain.
"Each of the organizations selected for funding share our goal of improving overall quality of care, increasing patient engagement and minimizing or finding alternatives to prescription opioids," says Dianne Radigan, vice president of Community Relations at Cardinal Health. "We're pleased to support our grant recipients as they develop innovations in care for chronic pain patients; our hope is for their best practices in pain management to cascade to other healthcare systems around the country to help reduce opioid dependency."
Each grantee received $34,000 to $35,000 to support their prescriber education and patient engagement initiatives over the next year. The grantees include large hospital systems, a children's hospital, a federally-qualified health center, a free medical clinic and a college of pharmacy. Each organization will measure progress in terms of pain management, patient satisfaction and total number and potency of opioids prescribed.
2017 Grant Recipients: Best Practices in Pain Management Projects
Grantees will also participate in a virtual learning collaborative led by chronic pain pharmacists at the Chronic Pain Clinic at Geisinger Health in Danville, Pa. The clinic was established in 2012 to help chronic pain patients better manage their pain, while providing clinical and educational support for the health system's physicians.
"As was the norm at the time, the year the clinic opened, a significant portion of the chronic pain patients seen by Geisinger physicians received opioid prescriptions," says Gerard Greskovic, R.Ph., Geisinger's director of Ambulatory Clinical Pharmacy programs. "However, we now know there is a significant and notable lack of evidence to demonstrate long-term benefits of opioids. As time goes by, patients can develop a tolerance to the effects of opioids, leading to a continual cycle of increasing dosage and a significantly greater risk of overdose and dependency."
Geisinger's chronic pain pharmacists work with the health system's primary care physicians to increase safe prescribing, and find alternative treatment options when appropriate, which include non-opioid medications, physical therapy, acupuncture and/or behavioral therapy. The virtual learning collaborative will emphasize how grantees can implement a similar collaboration with pharmacists and physicians in their community.
"Pharmacists engage patients in setting achievable pain management goals," Greskovic says. "We help reset expectations to be more focused on functionality and quality of life. Some patients may never be completely pain free, but they may be able to take their child to the park, walk their daughter down the aisle at her wedding, or – perhaps - go back to work."
For more information about the Generation Rx program or grant opportunities from Cardinal Health, please visit www.CardinalHealth.com/community.
About the Cardinal Health Foundation
The Cardinal Health Foundation supports local, national and international programs that improve health care efficiency, effectiveness and excellence and the overall wellness of the communities where Cardinal Health, Inc.'s (NYSE:CAH) more than 40,000 employees live and work. The Cardinal Health Foundation also offers grants to encourage community service among its employees and works through international agencies to donate much-needed medical supplies and funding to those who need them in times of disaster; because Cardinal Health, Inc. is #AllInForGood. To learn more, visit www.CardinalHealth.com/community and visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CardinalHealthFoundation.
About Generation Rx
Generation Rx works to end prescription drug misuse through prevention education, drug take back, best practices in pain management and community collaborations. The program was created through a partnership with the Cardinal Health Foundation and The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. Since 2009, more than one million people across the country have been reached with Generation Rx messages, and pharmacists in 40 states have been honored with the Generation Rx Champions Award. To learn more, visit www.GenerationRx.org.
About Cardinal Health
Cardinal Health, Inc. is a global, integrated healthcare services and products company, providing customized solutions for hospitals, healthcare systems, pharmacies, ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories and physician offices worldwide. The company provides clinically proven medical products and pharmaceuticals and cost-effective solutions that enhance supply chain efficiency from hospital to home. Cardinal Health connects patients, providers, payers, pharmacists and manufacturers for integrated care coordination and better patient management. Because Cardinal Health helps ensure pharmacists and the consumers they serve have access to medications they need while working to help prevent prescription drug diversion, the company's Foundation and its education partners created Generation Rx, a national program to help prevent the misuse of prescription medications. Backed by nearly 100 years of experience, with more than 40,000 employees in nearly 60 countries, Cardinal Health ranks #15 on the Fortune 500. For more information, visit cardinalhealth.com, follow @CardinalHealth on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/ company/cardinal-health.
SOURCE Cardinal Health