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CDC unveils new tools to accompany guideline on prescribing opioids

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App and educational videos are among new resources

CDC has released new tools and materials to give health care providers more resources to help curb prescription opioid abuse and overdose. Two of the newest features include a mobile app and educational videos.

CDC said its new Opioid Guide App, which launched the week of December 12, will make it easier for providers to apply the recommendations in CDC’s guideline for prescribing opioids for chronic pain. In March 2016, CDC released the guideline to encourage safer, more effective pain management. Features on the new app include a morphine milligram equivalent calculator, summaries of the CDC prescribing guidance, and motivational interviewing as an interactive feature that can help health care providers practice effective communication skills.

New videos from CDC are intended to help improve and facilitate communication between prescribers and patients about prescription opioids. CDC said the videos, which are 1–2 minutes in length, can be used as public service announcements, or they can be featured in training or presentations and shared on social media. They are intended to be educational and also complement the CDC guideline for prescribing opioids for chronic pain.

CDC hopes the new tools make the guidelines easier and more efficient to use as everyone works together to protect the public from prescription opioid misuse and overdose.

Since June, CDC also featured a series of webinars about the guideline as part of the Clinician Outreach Communication Activity Call Series. The final webinar took place on December 13 but future webinars are in the works on subjects such as risk mitigation strategies, opioid use disorder treatment and referral, and effective communication with patients about opioid therapy.

In addition to the new app, videos, and archived webinars, CDC’s dedicated resource webpage also includes patient and partner tools, graphics, posters, and clinical tools, some specifically tailored to pharmacists. 

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