Effects of Pain Management Clinical Decision Support in an Inpatient Setting for Patients Experiencing Abdominal Pain

Disorganization of pain-management-related information in an EMR may limit clinicians’ ability to consider clinical factors comprehensively. A clinical decision support (CDS) system for pain management was developed and deployed at University of Missouri Healthcare.  CDS effects were examined for inpatients with diagnoses of diverticulitis, pancreatitis, and abdominal pain.  Statistically significant differences were found in the average NRS-11 self-reported pain scores with a mean reduction of 0.7, and number of pain related medications prescribed, with a mean reduction of 1.2 pain medication orders per day. No statistical correlation was found between the use of the CDS and prescription of different classes of pain medications at discharge, nor with the use of naloxone for reversing overdose.  Nurses were the primary user of the system, with 79.3% of all CDS views. Patients may benefit with overall reduced pain scores and improved medication management with the use of this CDS.