Pain Assessment and Management – Understanding the Requirements (BHC)

What are the key concepts organizations need to understand regarding the pain management requirements?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.

Screening vs. Assessment for physical pain - CTS.02.01.09
Pain screening requires collecting data to identify the existence or presence of pain. If the individual served is screened positive for pain, a need for physical assessment is indicated. The individual served needs to be either assessed and treated by the organization or referred elsewhere for assessment or treatment.  If the individual served does not screen positive for pain, no further pain assessment is expected, unless required by organizational policy.
Pain assessment requires gathering more detailed information through collection of data, observation, and physical examination. For example, physical pain assessment may include an evaluation of pain intensity, location, quality, and domains of physical and functional impairment.

Performing physical pain screening and/or assessment
Each organization determines who performs these functions, based on the scope of license, certification or registration, law and regulation and organization policy. 

 Education and training for screening, assessment and management of pain
The intent of the requirement is to provide up-to-date information to staff and practitioners who are involved in the care of individuals served. All staff, whether licensed or non-licensed, who perform pain screening must receive education and training (see HRM.01.05.01). Each organization determines what educational resources are needed to effectively screen, assess and manage physical pain, while taking into consideration services provided and population served. Education may include academic detailing, workshops, online resources and/or clinical guidelines that include content related to safe opioid prescribing, modalities of treatment, multi-modal pain management*, assessment and reassessment criteria.

* Multimodal analgesia may be described as combining 2 or more analgesic agents or techniques that act by different mechanisms to provide analgesia resulting in improved pain relief while use of fewer opioid.

NOTE: This requirement is not applicable to all settings in the Behavioral Health and Human Services Program. Refer to the standards applicability process chapter (SAP) in E-dition or your standards manual for details.

For organizations that prescribe medication:  Practitioner access to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) databases (MM.01.01.01)
Facilitating access to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) means implementing systems and processes that support both ease of access for practitioners and consistent access to the PDMP when required by law.  Examples may include:
  • Shortcuts on designated computer desktops to the PDMP database
  • Links from the organization's intranet site and/or electronic health record (EHR)
  • Staff and practitioner education that includes access to and when the PDMP is to be queried 
  • Demonstration/return demonstration
  • Periodic monitoring of compliance as defined 
  • Periodic refreshers with staff, as defined by the organization
  • Creating prompts in an electronic medical record 
Each organization determines who is responsible for accessing the PDMP. This may vary based on different care settings. Refer to the state PDMP legislation or regulations to learn about criteria for requesting/checking PDMP data and to determine whether PDMP requirements apply. During survey, compliance with accessing the PDMP may be evaluated during tracer activities, interviews with staff, practitioners, pharmacists, etc.

NOTE: This requirement is not applicable to all settings in the Behavioral Health and Human Services Program. Refer to the standards applicability process chapter (SAP) in E-dition or your standards manual for details.

Pain Assessment and Management Resources
Last updated on February 22, 2021
Manual: Behavioral Health
Chapter: Human Resources Management HRM

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