help patients by following the Mayo Clinic in looking at their own prescribing practices and implementing standard prescribing guidelines.
But the Mayo Clinic is quick to point out that there’s no one-size-fits-all guide for prescribing painkillers after surgery. Researchers say that the draft-form Minnesota prescribing guidelines may not be appropriate for every case, and different types of surgery will naturally produce different levels of pain, calling for different prescriptions.
Habermann added that in many cases, doctors are walking a fine line between giving their patients the necessary help and making sure the number of opioids prescribed is kept to acceptable limits.
“Our surgeons at Mayo Clinic are consistently focused on doing the best for their patients,” she said. “We don’t focus on reducing opioid prescribing as much as we aim to optimize it — meaning that we appropriately control patients’ pain while minimizing their risk of becoming dependent on opioids and eliminating leftover opioids that may be diverted to the public.”
Habermann also said that Mayo Clinic researchers will continue to monitor prescription levels and carry out a number of other studies aimed at optimizing prescribing practices.