Better Prescribing, Better Treatment
The Better Prescribing, Better Treatment program is a peer-to-peer,
clinician-driven quality improvement program that promotes safe,
appropriate prescribing to curb opioid misuse and overdose. The program
was developed in partnership with the Washington State Hospital
Association and the state Health Care Authority in lieu of proposals
seeking to implement mandatory prior authorization for all opioid
prescriptions. At the same time, the legislature was considering a blunt
statutory seven-day pill limit that would have been problematic for
appropriate patient care and potentially result in disciplinary action for
Better Prescribing, Better Treatment was launched to focus on quality improvement rather than punitive
regulatory oversight. This effort has protected the medical profession
from further problematic legislative and/or regulatory interference, while
significantly improving opioid prescribing behaviors and resulting patient
care and outcomes.
Better Prescribing, Better Treatment is a component of the
state opioid response plan, and is a collaboration between the WSMA, Washington State Hospital Association, Washington State
Department of Health, and the Washington State Health Care Authority.
The Better Prescribing, Better Treatment program promotes safe prescribing in two ways:
Washington State Opioid Prescribing Reports:
Each quarter, the WSMA sends prescribers in the state an opioid
prescribing feedback report. Using data from the state's prescription
monitoring program, the report shows how their opioid prescribing
practices compare to others in their hospital, health system, or medical
group, as well as within their specialty. To participate, prescribers
are opted-in by their organization's chief medical officer.
Opioid Management Coaching Program:
In partnership with the University of Washington Six Building Blocks
program, the WSMA offers coaching services on improving systems in
primary care clinics to deliver more evidence-based chronic pain care
and opioid management. Contact
for more information.
Washington State Opioid Prescribing Reports
Better Prescribing, Better Treatment's data-driven and data-sharing
approach is working. The initiative, now encompassing 11,000+ prescribers
with 60 hospitals, health systems, and medical groups in the state, has reduced opioid prescriptions above guidelines by 46% since
To opt in
We are happy to announce that medical groups and individuals can enroll to
receive these quarterly reports, even if you do not have an
approved CQIP plan
with the state.
To enroll your organization, hospital, and health system, CMOs can email
email@example.com. Medical group
CMOs can email firstname.lastname@example.org. You
will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement and provide an updated
list of the prescribers in your organization every quarter.
Frequently asked questions and next steps
Get answers to your questions about report development and impact or
actionable next steps in the
Washington State Opioid Reports FAQ. Contact the physician lead, Nathan Schlicher, MD, JD, at
email@example.com for clinical guidance on the Washington State Opioid Prescribing
Reports. Contact the program manager, Monica Salgaonkar, MHA, at
firstname.lastname@example.org to join or find out
more about the opioid management coaching program.
Opioid Management Coaching Program
Utilizing the UW Six Building Blocks framework, there are a variety of
ways we can offer support in opioid improvement work:
||Timeline & Commitment
Comprehensive Six Building Blocks Program
Implement a comprehensive opioid management system-based
improvement with guidance from a practice facilitator.
Six Building Blocks consult
Complete a clinic-wide 6BBs self-assessment that leads to the
development of a recommended action plan with guidance from a
practice facilitator. Be connected to supporting resources for
|Shared learning calls
Actively participate in periodic and facilitated conversations
amongst clinics engaged in opioid management improvement work using
the Six Building Blocks approach.
||Monthly 1-hour calls
Ad-hoc technical assistance in opioid management areas, e.g., policy alignment with HB 1427, workflow development,
developing a tracking and monitoring system.
||Educational opportunities in opioid management areas.
|Intro to the Six Building Blocks
Introduction to the Six Building Blocks approach and tour of website
resources to support opioid management improvements.
||One time with follow-up check-in calls
Opioid Management Resources
May 2020 Webinar on the Washington State Opioid Reports
Learn more about the Washington State Opioid Prescribing Reports program
and the Six Building Blocks program. This webinar was originally
broadcasted on May 15, 2020. Webinar presenters were Dr. Nathan
Schlicher, Better Prescribing, Better Treatment physician lead; Jeb Shepard, WSMA director of policy and
regulatory affairs; Dr. Laura-Mae Baldwin, UW Family Medicine and the
Six Building Blocks program; and Dr. Michael Parchman, Kaiser Permanente
Health Research Institute and the Six Building Blocks program.
Complying with State Opioid Regulations through Improved Prescribing
– WSMA members only—sign-in required
WSMA's free one-hour on-demand webinar can help clinicians understand
how to comply with the new requirements. Completion of the webinar will
fulfill the new state requirement for continuing medical education on
opioid prescribing. This activity has been approved for
AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. After completing the activity,
learners should be able to:
- Review the Washington state opioid prescribing requirement.
Outline strategies to comply with specific requirements of opioid
Detail additional resources available for up-to-date evidence-based
information on opioid prescribing.
UW Six Building Blocks
Self-Service How-to Guide for the Six Building Blocks Program
WSU Interprofessional Team-Based Opioid Education
Washington State Opioid Rules and Best Practices - developed by UW
We aim to ensure our health care professionals who prescribe opioids for
pain for any indications are doing so safely and according to state
rules and best practices for pain management. This module is consistent
with an emerging national consensus by the CDC, FDA, and professional
pain societies regarding best practice guidelines for Healthcare
professionals for management of patients receiving opioid prescriptions
regardless of formulation or type of pain.
Pain and Opioid Consult Hotline for Clinicians
A resource developed by UW Medicine and funded by the state. It aims to
provide answers and help Washington State clinicians with opioid
questions and concerns about patients under their care.