Background Despite broad awareness of the opioid epidemic and the understanding that patients require much fewer opioids than traditionally prescribed, improvement efforts to decrease prescribing have only produced modest advances in recent years. Methods and findings By using a collaborative model for shared expertise and accountability, nine diverse health care systems completed quality improvement projects together over the course of one year to reduce opioid prescriptions for acute pain. The collaborative approach was flexible to each individual system’s goals, and seven of the nine participant institutions definitively achieved their desired results. Conclusions This report demonstrates the utility of a collaborative model of improvement to bring about real change in opioid prescribing practices and may inform quality improvement efforts at other institutions.
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