Leveraging a Learning Collaborative Model to Develop and Pilot Quality Measures to Improve Opioid Prescribing in the Emergency Department

Kathryn F. Hawk, Scott G. Weiner, Craig Rothenberg, Edward Bernstein, Gail D'Onofrio, Andrew Herring, Jason Hoppe, Eric Ketcham, Alexis LaPietra, Lewis Nelson, Jeanmarie Perrone, Megan Ranney, Elizabeth A. Samuels, Reuben Strayer, Dhruv Sharma, Pawan Goyal, Jeremiah Schuur, Arjun K. Venkatesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Emergency Medicine Quality Network (E-QUAL) Opioid Initiative was launched in 2018 to advance the dissemination of evidence-based resources to promote the care of emergency department (ED) patients with opioid use disorder. This virtual platform-based national learning collaborative includes a low-burden, structured quality improvement project, data benchmarking, tailored educational content, and resources designed to support a nationwide network of EDs with limited administrative and research infrastructure. As a part of this collaboration, we convened a group of experts to identify and design a set of measures to improve opioid prescribing practices to provide safe analgesia while reducing opioid-related harms. We present those measures here, alongside initial performance data on those measures from a sample of 370 nationwide community EDs participating in the 2019 E-QUAL collaborative. Measures include proportion of opioid administration in the ED, proportion of alternatives to opioids as first-line treatment, proportion of opioid prescription, opioid pill count per prescription, and patient medication safety education among ED visits for atraumatic back pain, dental pain, or headache. The proportion of benzodiazepine and opioid coprescribing for ED visits for atraumatic back pain was also evaluated. This project developed and effectively implemented a collection of 6 potential measures to evaluate opioid analgesic prescribing across a national sample of community EDs, representing the first feasibility assessment of opioid prescribing-related measures from rural and community EDs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-234
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Emergency Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes


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