Pain and Addiction Care in the ED

More than 2 million Americans have become dependent on or abused prescription pain pills and street drugs.

Emergency department clinicians are in a unique position to treat acute pain by providing optimal analgesia, educating patients, and combating the opioid epidemic. ACEP seeks to improve acute pain management for patients in the ED and recognizes the need for prompt, safe, and effective pain management. The primary aim of this program is to accelerate the transfer of knowledge about acute pain management and secure appropriate resources to care for patients.

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Help Solve This Pervasive Problem

The United States is in the throes of a public health crisis, the opioid epidemic, as more than two million Americans have become dependent on or abused prescription pain pills and street drugs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2017 there were more than 70,000 overdose deaths in the United States, with drug overdose deaths increasing more than four times between 1999 and 2017, thus making it the leading cause of injury-related death nationwide.

Hospitals and emergency departments (EDs) are in a unique position to combat the opioid epidemic by providing optimal analgesia and educating patients. To ensure your hospital ED staff is aligned with best practices and prepared to fight the epidemic, become accredited through the Pain and Addiction Care in the Emergency Department (PACED) program. PACED accreditation ensures quality, patient safety, communication, responsibility and clarity in the management of ED patients suffering from pain and addiction.

Meet Our Team

The PACED accreditation program was developed by national leaders and experts in pain and addiction within the ACEP Pain and Addiction Emergency Medicine Section with the support of the ACEP Board of Directors. The PACED Board of Governors consist of national leaders in pain and addiction emergency medicine.

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  • By becoming PACED-accredited, hospitals can demonstrate their commitment to combating the opioid crisis in their community by improving pain management, while concurrently minimizing risk to patients.

  • Many emergency clinicians and departments have already stretched the scope of their practice to include evidence-based care of patients with opioid use disorder. PACED accreditation recognizes this work and provides a framework to expand on it.

  • Becoming PACED-accredited shows your community you've made an active commitment to combat the opioid epidemic – by decreasing initial exposure to opioids, by promoting opioid harm reduction, and by becoming a place where anyone already struggling with substance use disorder can come for help and be welcomed by a team that is doing evidence-based addiction care, 24/7/365.

  • The PACED accreditation allows recognition of the already excellent care you provide to a wide spectrum of patients, ranging from acute to chronic pain, to those at risk of or who have opioid use disorder. The accreditation will bring a positive spotlight to your leadership and devotion to your emergency department.

  • Creating expectations for the management of the intertwined issues of pain management and substance use will raise the performance of both in EDs across the nation. Our patients deserve to know that we have thoughtfully and systematically addressed the risks and benefits of the care we provide, and PACED accreditation is one means to provide such assurance.

  • With PACED accreditation, hospitals and emergency departments demonstrate that they are the gold standard and leaders in their community when it comes to responsible pain management and the treatment of patients with opioid use disorder.

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