7. Document!

Document, document, document

As mentioned above, it is important to document details of the initial and follow-up assessments of every patient with chronic pain. These details can provide a record of treatment successes or failures and guide future treatment decisions. Additionally this documentation is indicated to help mitigate risk of medicolegal exposure.

A standardized approach to the management of patients with chronic pain that includes appropriate monitoring of patients prescribed opioid analgesics may help reduce the risk of improper usage of these medications and result in more effective and safe treatment for this patient population.

Documentation is now required for patients receiving chronic opioid therapy. For more details regarding what and when, please refer to First Do No Harm.