The New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released the NYC Emergency Department Discharge Opioid Prescribing Guidelines in January, 2013. Developed with an expert clinical advisory panel of emergency department (ED) physicians, the guidelines provide recommendations for opioid analgesic prescribing to patients being discharged from EDs.
These guidelines adapted general Health Department guidance on opioid prescribing for the ED setting given the vital role of the ED in treating patients with painful medical conditions. The goal of these guidelines is to reduce adverse health consequences of prescription opioid analgesic use, including opioid dependence and overdose — problems that have reached epidemic proportions in the United States and in New York City. The guidelines are not meant for patients in palliative care programs or with cancer pain. They do not replace clinical judgment in the appropriate care of patients nor are they intended to provide guidance on the management of patients while they are in the ED. Links to the guidelines and accompanying materials can be found below.
Many NYC hospital emergency departments have already adopted the guidelines. Here is a list of