Here’s one way we can start fixing America’s painkiller problem

In a recent study, researchers sent a letter to 388 clinicians informing them that a patient they’d prescribed a drug to had overdosed and died. The letter, which was based on actual events, came with instructions and recommendations on proper opioid prescribing. Another 438 clinicians who had patients die were tracked but not sent letters; they were the comparison group. The results: Clinicians who got the letters prescribed nearly 10 percent fewer opioids than those who did not receive a letter. The letter-receiving clinicians were also less likely to start patients on opioids and less likely to give patients higher doses of opioids.

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Here’s one way we can start fixing America’s painkiller problem

In a recent study, researchers sent a letter to 388 clinicians informing them that a patient they’d prescribed a drug to had overdosed and died. The letter, which was based on actual events, came with instructions and recommendations on proper opioid prescribing. Another 438 clinicians who had patients die were tracked but not sent letters; they were the comparison group. The results: Clinicians who got the letters prescribed nearly 10 percent fewer opioids than those who did not receive a letter. The letter-receiving clinicians were also less likely to start patients on opioids and less likely to give patients higher doses of opioids.

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