Archive May 2015 XVI, No. 5

Secrets of Our Busy Pain Management Center

Here's how we keep patients satisfied and our center humming.

Alana Booth, RN, BSN, CASC

BIO

epidural steroid injections OUTLOOK FAVORABLE We offer epidural steroid injections, transforaminal steroid injections, medial branch blocks, radiofrequency ablations, various nerve blocks, spinal cord stimulator trials, discography and kyphoplasty.

With only one OR in our ASC and a caseload of 375 to 400 chronic pain patients per month, maintaining high patient-satisfaction scores requires a top-to-bottom team effort. Our patients are only satisfied when their pain quiets down and their ability to perform the activities of daily living goes up. And naturally, they want to be treated with dignity and respect throughout the process.

managing pain WELL-DEFINED ROLES With only one OR, teamwork is crucial to the PCET Surgery Center's efficiency and success.

Our surgery center is one part of a collaborative team that also includes a rehabilitation and occupational therapy department and clinical psychologists. That multidisciplinary approach is one of the keys to our success.

 

Our facility offers epidural steroid injections, transforaminal steroid injections, medial branch blocks, radiofrequency ablations, various nerve blocks, spinal cord stimulator trials, discography and kyphoplasty, so we can tailor treatment to individual needs and ensure the best possible outcomes. Here are the key components that let us consistently function at the highest level:

  1. Managing expectations. Our clinical psychologists help make sure patients have appropriate expectations, based on their pain conditions. They also perform risk assessments for all patients before we prescribe any pain medications.
  2. Tailoring treatments. To determine which procedure is appropriate, one of our 9 family nurse practitioners performs a detailed and thorough physical exam, in conjunction with our physicians. Our procedures are very specific, depending on the type of pain, its location, whether the pain radiates to other areas, and several other considerations. Additionally, many of our patients are referred by neurosurgeons or orthopedic surgeons who suggest what they think their patients need.
  3. Quick preparation. Our pre-op area has 4 patient bays and our staff works quickly to get patients ready. Typically we have 2 or 3 nurses in this area.
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