The University of Maryland Division of Pain Medicine employs a multidisciplinary team approach to provide compassionate and comprehensive services to reduce pain, promote coping strategies, and improve function and the quality of life. Faculty members encourage active involvement of patients in their treatment and tailor therapies to individual needs. Such therapy may include a combination of opioids, adjunctive medications, interventional therapies, psychological support, and physical therapy. The Pain Management Center recently initiated a number of programs to improve patient satisfaction. For example, having a nurse travel with each patient before, during, and after a procedure has enhanced patient satisfaction, efficiency, and patient safety. Volunteers have been engaged to assist with customer service by greeting patients and informing them of any delays. The phone system was improved by having callers access a live person instead of voicemail, and the rate of calls answered by staff has increased. Patients are surveyed about their level of satisfaction, and the results are continuously used to drive process improvement initiatives.
Consultations are provided with referral from the patient’s primary care physician or any specialist currently treating the patient. We also welcome referrals from physicians for specific procedures only. Referring physicians should complete the Physician Referral/Request Form and fax it to the Pain Management Center. The patient will then be called and scheduled for an appointment.
The Acute Pain Management Service (APMS) provides comprehensive consultations for adult and pediatric inpatients. Patients with complex medical or surgical conditions that present with pain symptoms are treated by a team that includes attending anesthesiologists, pain medicine fellows, anesthesiology residents and pain management nurses. The majority of patients on this service are post-surgical; others have cancer pain, chronic pain or other painful conditions, such as pancreatitis, trauma, burns and sickle cell disease. Care may include intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (PCA), oral analgesics and co-analgesics (e.g. opioids, NSAIDS, antidepressants and anticonvulsants), various nerve blocks and continuous epidural/intrathecal analgesia (caudal, lumbar and thoracic). Pre-operative epidural catheters are placed for appropriate surgery patients (e.g. abdominal and thoracic surgery).
Postoperative analgesic care following elective total joint replacement and other orthopedic procedures is provided by the acute pain management service at University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute. Nursing protocols for this service are written and followed under the medical direction of the University of Maryland Pain Management Center and in collaboration with the Anesthesiology Division at University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute. Consultation is also provided to rehabilitation inpatients requiring analgesic modification. Complex pain management problems are referred to the Pain Management Center for inpatient evaluation. Pain Resource Nurses are available on off-shifts and week-ends to provide continuity of analgesic protocols.