For a study, researchers sought to compare the use of opioids in private and academic practice settings and to look at overall trends in opioid prescribing following ureteroscopy. They also looked at the possibility of an opioid reduction campaign for major oncologic surgery having unrelated spillover effects.
They retrospectively reviewed all of the ureteroscopies done in the system at 4 different times between 2016 and 2019. They estimated the oral morphine equivalents and noted the amount and quantity of opioid medications. The analysis included a comparison of academic and community hospitals as well as before and after the effort.
The research comprised 555 individuals who had ureteroscopy and 29 attending surgeons. Throughout the research period the median prescription size per ureteroscopy dropped throughout the research period in academic and private settings. In the private context, the median oral morphine equivalents (OMEs) fell from 60 to 0 between 2016 and 2017 and stayed at 0 throughout the research period. Although academic institutions trailed behind private practitioners in the opioid reduction effort, median OMEs slowly declined to zero in 2019. There was no discernible spillover impact.
Since 2016, the number of opioids prescribed after ureteroscopy has dropped in academic and private practice settings. Notably, 2 years before academic urologists, private practice urologists had a median of 0 opioids. The findings implied that academic institutions may have responded to the opioid pandemic more slowly in certain cases than others.