OBJECTIVE: To assess longitudinal prescribing patterns for patients undergoing urologic surgery in the nearly 2-year time frame before and after implementation of an evidence-based opioid prescribing guideline to accurately characterize the impact on postoperative departmental practices. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Historical prescribing data for adults who underwent 21 urologic procedures at 3 academic institutions were used to derive a 4-tiered guideline for postoperative opioid prescribing. The guideline was implemented on January 16, 2018, and prescribing patterns including quantity of opioids prescribed (in oral morphine equivalents [OMEs]) and refill rates were compared for opioid-naïve patients undergoing urologic surgery before (January 1, 2016, through January 15, 2018; N=10,649) and after (January 16, 2018, through September 30, 2019; N=9422) guideline implementation. Univariate analysis was performed using Wilcoxon rank sum and χ2 tests. Cochran-Armitage trend tests and interrupted time series analysis were used to test for significance in the change in OMEs prescribed before vs after guideline implementation. RESULTS: The median quantity of opioids decreased from 150 OMEs (interquartile range, 0-225) before guideline implementation to 0 OMEs (interquartile range, 0-90) after guideline implementation (P<.001). Median OMEs decreased significantly in each tier and each of 21 individual procedures. Overall guideline adherence was 90.7% (n=8547). Despite this decrease in OMEs prescribed, post-guideline implementation patients obtained fewer refills than the pre-guideline implementation group (614 [6.5%] vs 999 [9.4%]; P<.001). CONCLUSION: In a multi-institutional follow-up prospective study of adult urologic surgery-specific evidence-based guidelines for postoperative prescribing, we demonstrate sustained reduction in OMEs prescribed secondary to guideline implementation and adherence by our providers.
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