Frequently Asked Questions

What is PACED accreditation?

Pain and Addiction Care in the Emergency Department, or PACED, is an ACEP-governed national accreditation program which seeks to improve pain management for patients in the emergency department. It recognizes the need for prompt, safe, and effective pain management and treatment for patients in pain and/or addicted to pain medication.

What are the goals of a PACED accredited emergency department (ED)?

A PACED-accredited ED promotes the following goals:

  • To provide effective treatment for pain and/or addiction to pain medication for patients.
  • To minimize the use of opioid medications, reserving them for when they are necessary.
  • To accelerate the distribution and implementation of best practices.
  • To ensure that emergency physicians have the necessary resources, protocols and training to provide optimal acute pain and addiction management.
  • To ensure that facilities that market themselves as ED Pain and Addiction Management Programs meet a baseline set of standards that ensure their ability to provide high-quality care to patients suffering from pain.
  • To assist patients, families, and emergency medical services providers in decision-making about where to seek acute care through a recognizable brand.
  • To incentivize hospitals to develop programs focused on optimizing ED care for patients suffering from pain and/or addiction and to reward and acknowledge those that are already providing excellent care to these patients.
  • To provide a mechanism for hospitals to periodically reassess the care they provide to patients suffering from pain in the ED to ensure that they are maintaining high-quality care and incorporating innovations to the standard of care.
  • To provide a mechanism for rapid dissemination of advances in pain and addiction management

Three levels of accreditation with increasing requirements are available. The bronze level is within reach of every hospital. The silver and gold levels have higher standards that will require more focused effort and resources to be dedicated to patients with substance use disorders. Hospitals will start at the level that is most appropriate for their current resources and strive to reach a higher level over time.

Who runs the Pain and Addiction Care in the Emergency Department (PACED) Accreditation Program?

The accreditation program was developed by nationally known experts and leaders in pain and addiction care in the emergency department (ED). The leaders within PACED were appointed by the ACEP Board of Directors to the PACED Board of Governors.

Why should our emergency department (ED) seek Pain and Addiction Care in the Emergency Department (PACED) accreditation?

Accreditation is an excellent way to convey to your patients, colleagues, and community that your ED cares about the service it provides. PACED accreditation specifically, is for departments and hospitals that seek to improve pain management for patients in the ED and recognize the need for prompt, safe, and effective pain management and treatment for patients. Please see our benefits page for further information.

Benefits

What are the levels of accreditation? What are the requirements?

Gold level PACED accreditation, led by a collaborative multidisciplinary team within the hospital and community, recognizes emergency departments with a comprehensive program to provide optimal care for patients suffering from pain and/or addiction through advanced management-specific treatment, protocols, training and resources.

Silver level PACED accreditation, led by a physician champion, recognizes emergency departments providing additional strategies, protocols, resources, and training demonstrating a special commitment to quality care for patients suffering from pain and/or addiction.

Bronze level PACED accreditation, led by a clinical champion, recognizes emergency departments that have established basic protocols and resources for addressing patients with pain and/or addiction issues.

Accreditation Levels

Who can apply?

The Pain and Addiction Care in the Emergency Department (PACED) accreditation program is accepting applications from hospital emergency departments (EDs) with a desire to improve pain management for patients in the ED and that recognize the need for prompt, safe, and effective pain management and treatment for patients in pain and/or addicted to pain medication.

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How long does accreditation last?

Accreditation lasts three years. At the conclusion of the three-year period, departments are encouraged to renew at the same level, or if applicable, consider applying for a higher level.

Can we have multiple applications from the same health care system but for different facilities or different departments?

Each emergency department (ED) must submit its own application, regardless of its affiliation with a health care system, as each department's resources, processes, quality plans and personnel likely will differ by facility.

How long does the application process take?

A completed and submitted application will be reviewed by two ACEP-appointed expert pain and addiction management emergency physicians. Applicants may be asked additional questions to clarify parts of the application. The entire process is anticipated to take approximately eight weeks, depending on application level.

I deleted my application and would like to have it reinstated. What should I do?

If you deleted your application but have changed your mind, contact us. Applications that are older than five months will not be reinstated.

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How much does Pain and Addiction Care in the Emergency Department (PACED) accreditation cost?

Application fees are based on level:

  • Gold level: $10,000
  • Silver level: $5,000
  • Bronze level: $2,500

Accreditation will be granted for three years.

Accreditation Levels

How do I apply for accreditation?

Accreditation applications are being accepted now. There are a number of documents that will be required to complete your application. Please review the sample documents page and gather these required elements before starting your online application.

What documents will I need to apply?

Please review the Accreditation Levels page and gather these required elements before starting your online application.

Accreditation Levels