Improving Postoperative Pain Management: Breaking Down Silos in the Multidisciplinary Team

Intended Audience

Physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, nurses, and others involved in the management of patients experiencing or at risk for postoperative pain

Educational Objectives

At the conclusion of this series, participants should be better able to:

  • Identify individual risk factors, opioid medications, and medication interactions that place individuals at increased risk for opioid-related adverse drug events or substance use disorders
  • Describe the risk profile, safety, and efficacy of multimodal analgesia agents used to manage postoperative pain
  • Evaluate the cost-benefit of postoperative pain management strategies in reducing hospital costs and length of stay
  • Apply the American Pain Society recommendations regarding multimodal, patient-specific, and procedure-specific treatments for patients experiencing postoperative pain in an effort to enhance recovery after surgery

Article 1 - Postoperative Pain Management: Focus on Safety

A multimodal approach using medications that affect the central and peripheral nervous systems as well as nonpharmacologic interventions can be successful, but depends on collaborative care from a surgical patient's healthcare team.

Article 2 - Postoperative Pain Management: Focus on Policies and Protocols

Institutional policies, including cost-containment efforts, sometime stymie implementation of best practices, but goal-directed collaboration among healthcare professionals, informed by effective pain assessment and focused on helping patients recover function, contributes to effective, individualized care.

Article 3 - Postoperative Pain Management: Focus on Counseling and Communication

Communication among members of the healthcare team facilitates effective multidisciplinary care that anticipates and responds to patients' analgesia needs.


APS recommendations for multimodal management of postoperative pain, including the use of nonpharmacologic strategies


Darin J. Correll, MD
Department of Anesthesiology,
  Perioperative and Pain Medicine
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Assistant Professor of Anesthesia
Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA

Julie Golembiewski, PharmD
Clinical Assistant Professor,
  Pharmacy Practice
University of Illinois at Chicago
  College of Pharmacy
Chicago, IL

Lois J. Pizzi, MSN, ACNS-BC, RN-BC
Clinical Nurse Specialist - Pain Management
UPMC Shadyside Hospital
Pittsburgh, PA

Jointly provided by

These activities are supported by an educational grant from
Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.