ACCREDITATION PAIN STANDARD:
Making It Happen!
Unrelieved pain remains one of the most common and most poorly treated complaints of patients in our society today. In some cases this simply reflects our limited understanding of the puzzle of pain. However in most cases, poor pain management is due to factors which are well understood, including: a lack of appropriate pain education in most health care professional schools; a lack of awareness or an unreasonable fear of using the treatment tools already available to us; an attitude that treating pain is not important and a lack of awareness on the part of the public that, indeed, pain can be better managed.
In spite of an ever increasing number of published reviews and guidelines over the past decade, published surveys show that pain continues to be poorly managed in most health care facilities. It is therefore very appropriate that the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation (CCHSA) has recently added pain assessment and management to the accreditation standards. This will raise the profile of appropriate pain management in accredited institutions and lead to better patient care.
For those health care facilities in Canada who are struggling to improve pain management practices, a set of practical guidelines from others who have already been through this process would be an invaluable asset. This document, produced by the Special Interest Group on Nursing Issues, of the Canadian Pain Society, will be an excellent place to begin.
This guide has been prepared as a resource by the Special Interest Group on Nursing Issues of the Canadian Pain Society, and has been reviewed by an inter-professional group. It has been developed to help organizations and health care professionals meet the new pain assessment and management standard from the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation (CCHSA).
Research continues to uncover and document the prevalence of unrelieved pain despite evidence of physiological and psychological negative consequences. The revised accreditation standards include a pain-focused criterion to improve how pain is assessed and managed in all clinical settings. This guide is intended as a resource to assist in the development of pain assessment and management strategies in your organization.