Pain – A Common Thread

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Ten teams from programs and directorates throughout Sunnybrook & Women’s have been participating in the Pain Management Collaborative, a hospital-wide initiative to improve pain management, since the Fall of last year.

A collaborative is an initiative where different healthcare organizations or teams within a hospital work together for six to 12 months to improve a specific clinical or service area using a quality improvement model.

The collaborative provides teams with a forum to discuss their specific clinical pain management issues, listen and learn from other programs and work one-on-one with pain experts and improvement specialists. Many teams have reported that they feel energized by what they are hearing and go back to their unit with greater insight into how they can make improvements.

“Having the pain issue addressed and supported at the corporate level speaks loudly to me and I hope to all of us who provide patient care,” said Betsy Jackson, PPL, Nursing, Cardiac Program, Coronary Care Unit, Cath Lab D3 & D6. ” Our collaborative team, comprised of nurses, a CV surgeon, pharmacist and a physiotherapist hope that by working together, connecting with other departments and listening to their pain issues that we will be able to make a big difference in our practice and improve our pain management techniques.”In the first learning session, pain experts and improvement specialists gave outstanding presentations that stimulated a lively discussion and further motivated the more than 100 participants.

“I was impressed with the calibre of knowledge and skill of the presenters and I feel that this is a great opportunity to develop our projects and begin to move forward,” said Jo MacDonell, Director of the Birthing Unit in the Perinatal Program, Sunnybrook & Women’s. “We wanted to work on pain satisfaction scores and the collaborative has created the structure to make this happen.”

The teams have been working within their units on the first cycle of improvement and recently reported some of their initial findings. The next action period will be spent assessing some of the changes made in their units to improve pain management and analyzing whether or not they think these improvements will have a positive affect on patient satisfaction scores.