Emergency room patients in particular have high expectations for pain management, according to an article in The New York Times, and when those expectations aren’t met, hospital patient satisfaction scores can suffer. In the wake of widespread opioid addiction, health providers are cutting back on prescriptions for such pain medications, despite patient demand. The ED is a particular target for such cutbacks, as many emergency room patients arrive in acute pain.
Patients expect their pain to be treated fully, according to the article, and think prescriptions for medications like opioids are a logical quick fix. And doctors like S. Michael Keller, medical director of the ED at Marion General Hospital in Indiana, says patients react negatively when doctors deny them the painkillers. “I’ve been swung at, spit on; I’ve been yelled at, all because I haven’t given a patient what they came in demanding,” Keller told the newspaper.
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