BACKGROUND: There has been an increasing awareness of the importance of acute pain management particularly multiple studies revealing the frequent undertreatment of acute pain and establishment of JCAHO pain management standard.
METHODOLOGY: Current acute pain practices and patient satisfaction were assessed at St. Luke's Medical Center from May to September 2008 involving patients who underwent elective abdominal surgical procedures using a modified questionnaire based on the 2005 American Pain Society Quality Improvement Guidelines and Recommendations.
RESULTS: The study revealed predominant use of a multimodal approach to pain treatment which resulted in mean and median worst VAS scores of 4-5 and 5-6 respectively. Patient satisfaction was high and reasons for dissatisfaction include lack of empathy and indifference of healthcare providers, patients, and their families and a regular ongoing process of quality improvement.
CONCLUSION: Recommendations are made on the institutionalization of efforts of the Acute Pain Service with emphasis on structural setup, multidisciplinary approach, education of health care providers, patients, and their families, and a regular ongoing process of quality improvement.