SEATTLE, April 28, 2020 — MDmetrix, a clinical performance management company, announced today that its artificial intelligence (AI)-driven technology was a pivotal component in a joint initiative with Seattle Children's Hospital at its Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center (BCSC) to develop the nation's first-ever "opioid-free" surgery center. Clinicians from BCSC recently published a groundbreaking study of their success in reducing opioid administration in the leading international anesthesia journal Anesthesia & Analgesia titled, "In Pursuit of an Opioid-Free Pediatric Ambulatory Surgery Center: A Quality Improvement Initiative."
"Across the country, 5% of adolescents who undergo surgery become persistent opioid users," said Greg Latham, MD, attending anesthesiologist at Seattle Children's Hospital. "Surgery is a critical gateway to opioid misuse, so this is a tremendous breakthrough. MDmetrix's technology allowed us to quickly implement evidence-based non-opioid alternatives, assess and adapt our anesthesia protocols, and dramatically improve care for our patients."
As a result of this joint initiative between MDmetrix and Seattle Children's, more than 6,000 pediatric patients at BCSC have successfully undergone opioid-free surgery. The new protocols use combinations of non-opioid multimodal pain medications such as dexmedetomidine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and regional anesthesia.
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The MDmetrix Mission Control platform was used to visualize and evaluate outcomes data so that physicians could quickly adapt their protocols, incorporating evidence-based best practices, to effectively manage surgical pain while reducing patients' opioid exposure. After their initial success in implementing opioid-sparing protocols for tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy surgeries, BCSC expanded their approach to include other surgeries—and quickly learned they could eliminate opioids for most types of outpatient surgery.
Transforming Clinical Operations
As reported in the Anesthesia & Analgesia study, physicians at Seattle Children's used MDmetrix to analyze more than 10,700 surgical cases. Based on insight from MDmetrix, the physicians developed protocols that eliminated opioid administration during surgery from the vast majority of their outpatient procedures (dropping from 84% to 8% of procedures), while also reducing the need for postoperative morphine administration from 11% to just 6%. With these new protocols, the clinicians found that postoperative nausea and vomiting—commonly caused by opioid administration—virtually disappeared, while pain scores, total anesthesia time, and total post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) time remained stable. Overall, costs also decreased, while patient/parent satisfaction increased dramatically.