Physician-Patient Alliance Encouraged by First Meeting of National Coalition to Promote Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids

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The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health and Safety described the inaugural meeting of the National Coalition to Promote Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids as a major step forward in the path to eliminate respiratory comprise, the second-most frequently occurring preventable patient safety issue in the United States.

As Dr. Eyal Zimlichman (Deputy Director and Vice President of Quality Management at Sheba - Tel Ha SHomer Hospital, Israel) so succinctly stated in Chicago, ‘continuous monitoring of patients on opioids is a no-brainer.’

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The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health and Safety described the inaugural meeting of the National Coalition to Promote Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids as a major step forward in the path to eliminate respiratory comprise, the second-most frequently occurring preventable patient safety issue in the United States.

Organized by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) to kick off the campaign to promote continuous monitoring of all patients receiving opioid analgesics, the meeting took place Nov. 14 in Chicago. The Physician-Patient Alliance co-convened the event along with 16 other leading national healthcare organizations and patient safety advocacies including The Joint Commission, which accredits and certifies more than 20,500 health care organizations and programs in the United States.

“We are greatly encouraged not only by the discussion that took place during the inaugural meeting of the National Coalition to Promote Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids but also by the continuing dialogue coming out of this historic event,” said Physician-Patient Alliance Executive Director and Founder Michael Wong, JD. “With literally hundreds of thousands of patients’ lives at stake, we will continue to collaborate closely with the members of the Coalition to bring about the continuous monitoring of all patients receiving opioids – and ultimately make respiratory compromise a non-issue.”

Opioid analgesics are among the drugs most frequently associated with life-threatening respiratory compromise, Mr. Wong said. Along with causing higher mortality rates and longer hospital and ICU stays, respiratory compromise costs millions of healthcare dollars each year, he added.

“Respiratory compromise is the third most rapidly increasing hospital cost in America, yet that cost could be greatly reduced – indeed, eliminated altogether – through the use of continuous monitoring technology such as capnography and pulse oximetry,” Mr. Wong said. “As Dr. Eyal Zimlichman (Deputy Director and Vice President of Quality Management at Sheba - Tel Ha SHomer Hospital, Israel) so succinctly stated in Chicago, ‘continuous monitoring of patients on opioids is a no-brainer.’’’

About Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety
Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety is an advocacy group whose mission is to promote safer clinical practices and standards for patients through collaboration among healthcare experts, professionals, scientific researchers, and others, in order to improve health care delivery. For more information, please visit http://www.ppahs.org

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