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article imageOnline resource helps healthcare professionals with opioid crisis

By Tim Sandle     Nov 15, 2018 in Health
A new online program has been developed, designed to assist healthcare professionals to address the opioid crisis that is affecting many countries. The new program is designed to be used to support Canadian healthcare.
Across high-income countries, the over prescription and misuse of opioids has reached significantly high levels that there are risks to human health; some medics are even referring to the situation as an ‘opioid crisis’. Increased prescription of opioid medications since the 1990s has led to widespread misuse of both prescription and non-prescription opioids. One factor driving this is the fact that opioids are highly addictive.
Taking the U.S. as an example, each day some 115 people, on average, in the U.S. die after overdosing due to the taking of opioids. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl – has steadily risen over the past decade.
A new tool is at hand to help to address the problem, aimed at the Canadian health sector. This is a case-based e-learning program developed by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Through the platform, healthcare providers can take lessons from experts in pain management, assessing the optimal ways to deal with complex cases of opioid misuse and addiction.
The e-learning platform takes the form of three modules, based on self-assessment. The platform is currently being tested as a pilot, and the package, which is provided in English and French, will then be made available to healthcare professionals in Canada and in other countries for $65.
According to Dr. Andrew Padmos, Royal College CEO: “Opioid therapy is one of the most controversial and challenging issues facing healthcare professionals today.”
He adds: “Through this course, our Fellows will get the latest information on screening practices, identifying patients at risk of harm, ongoing monitoring, and knowing how to discontinue or taper opioids at the appropriate time."
In terms of the future expansion of the e-learning, two further self-assessment programs are now available. These cover CanMEDS and research ethics. CanMEDS is an educational framework that describes the abilities physicians require to effectively meet the health care needs of the people they serve.
E-learning is rapidly being adopted in healthcare and related fields like pharmaceuticals. Earlier this year, for example, Digital Journal profiled an e-learning package on cleaning and disinfection.
More about opioid crisis, opioids, elearning, Online
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