Tags: coordinated care , redesigning care , technology

Image credit: The Martha’s Vineyard Times 

The Vineyard Hospital Center for Pain Management (CPM) is well on its way to setting the standard for how telemedicine can help patients in remote areas successfully manage their pain--often without the use of habit-forming narcotics.

Now in its third year, CPM was created as a way to simultaneously address the island’s high incidence of opioid addiction, remote location, and low number of pain medication specialists, It combines non-opioid injection treatments and medications with video-based pain specialist consultations originating at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

In an interview about the collaborative program’s success with the Martha’s Vineyard Times, Dr. George Hanna, critical care and pain medicine specialist at MGH, and Cheryl Kram, nurse manager for the CPM, spoke to the newfound sense of confidence that many chronic pain sufferers have experienced while enrolled in the program.

“The number of patients we’re treating has grown threefold since we started,” Hanna told the Martha’s Vineyard Times. “I think it’s a good sign that we’re doing the right thing. Patients see a big savings in time, energy, and cost of traveling to Boston. They felt confident about the confidentiality and the quality of the treatment they received.

The number of patients we’re treating has grown threefold since we started. I think it’s a good sign that we’re doing the right thing. Patients see a big savings in time, energy, and cost of traveling to Boston. They felt confident about the confidentiality and the quality of the treatment they received.

When the program was first conceived in 2013, there was no established process in place to manage remote pain management or treatment. The team had to largely develop the program by feel, and a “build it and they will come” model, Kram told the Martha’s Vineyard Times. And come they have, with a recent Journal of Pain Management study showing high patient satisfaction with CPM (an average 4.3 out of 5 satisfaction score).

The efforts being made at MVH to reduce the impact of opioid addiction build on other efforts at Partners and those of other providers across the Commonwealth.

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