School of Nursing


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Cindy Goodrich


opioid safety initiative, prescription drug monitoring program, non-VA provider, opioid overdose




Pain is a complicated phenomenon; it is an individual’s subjective experience and is often characterized by its duration. Chronic pain lasts longer than 90 days and can continue after the injury or illness that caused it has healed or gone away; chronic pain was identified as a national public health problem in a 2017 study by the National Academy of Medicine. Not only is chronic pain a national problem, but there is an opioid epidemic in the United States that is perpetuated by prescription pain medications. The opioid epidemic continues to consume veterans daily, but not much is said about the providers who prescribe opioids to veterans. The uniqueness of veterans’ experiences while serving on active duty predisposes them to chronic pain treatable with opioids. There are strategies to mitigate opioid overprescribing practices. The purpose of this paper is to determine if the strategies implemented by the Veterans Health Administration are effective in mitigating the risk of opioid overdose and death in veterans. This integrative review established that the OSI initiative has been effective in improving the opioid prescribing practices of providers because of the real-time data seen on the OSI dashboard causing a decrease in opioid overdose and death; however, challenges exist, as all providers are not using the PDMP, and some do not follow the steps of the OSI. With these challenges, there will continue to be opioid overdoses and overdose death of the veteran.

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