OUCh – Opioid Use Change

The AHSN NENC has funded a project to evaluate the impact of an educational video on opioid prescribing. The overall aim of this project was to reduce opioid prescribing in the region.

Opioid Prescribing

6% of all hospital admission relate to prescription drug side effects and opioids are one of the commonest drug categories to cause side effects. Within the North East there are higher rates of accidental death due to prescription opioids than elsewhere within the UK. There is recognition of opioids as vital for acute pain relief after trauma but the need to safely deprescribe those on longer term high doses of opioids where the side effects are now clearly shown to outweigh the benefits.

The project aim was to develop an effective and easy to use online educational tool to support safe opioid prescribing for hospital prescribers. The project also aimed to demonstrate improved understanding around both benefits and side effects of opioids and safe prescribing and to determine whether the educational tool had an impact on prescribing behaviour

A short video ‘OUCh’ (Opioid Use Change) was created:

This effective behavioural intervention tool, developed to modify opioid prescribing has been well received with potential for widespread use within health professional training for all those who prescribe. Evidence already confirms that it has changed understanding of the benefits but also risks of opioids. Prescribing data analysis is still on-going to fully understand the longer-term impact on prescribing behaviour.

This resource has been made freely available to all healthcare professionals. It can be disseminated to Hospital Trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Opioid Reduction Groups.

An OUCh case study has been written:

Download OUCh Case Study

A postgraduate medical journal is also available:

OUCh Postgraduate Medical Journal