Opioids in the Acute Care Setting: Safety Is Within Our Reach


Opioids are one of the medication classes included in ISMP’s list of high-alert medications, which are drugs that bear a heightened risk of causing significant harm when used in error. Morphine and HYDROmorphone are both commonly used, yet remain among the most frequent opioids to cause patient harm. This webinar will explore the latest trends in opioid therapy, barriers to optimal therapy and safety, and preventable errors that involve opioids. Expert speakers will discuss the latest safety considerations for these commonly-used agents, including a surprising discussion regarding the safe use of HYDROmorphone.

Intended Audience:

  • Hospital and Health System Leadership
  • Quality and Risk Management Leaders
  • Pharmacy and Nursing Managers and Administrators
  • Medication Safety and Patient Safety Officers
  • Pharmacists
  • Nurses
  • Clinical Educators
  • Pain Teams

Learning Objectives:

Following completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify system-based causes of medication errors associated with the use of opioids.
  2. Describe methods to identify risk associated with the use of opioids in their organization. 
  3. Prioritize strategies and actions to prevent harm and improve opioid therapy for effective pain management. 
  4. Select appropriate opioid therapy for severe pain based on chronicity/source of pain and co-morbid medical conditions.
  5. Evaluate the safety of opioid prescribing strategies.

Introduction and Overview: 

Michael R. Cohen, RPh, MS, ScD (hon.), DPS (hon.), FASHP, President, ISMP


System-based Causes of Adverse Events Associated with Opioids

Matthew Grissinger, RPh, FISMP, FASCP, Director of Error Reporting Programs, ISMP

Selecting Appropriate Opioid Therapy for Severe or Chronic Pain

Maria Foy, PharmD, BCPS, CPE, Patient Care Coordinator, Palliative Care, Abington Memorial Hospital, Abington, PA



This activity is funded through an educational grant from Fresenius Kabi.

CE Accreditation

No continuing education credits are available for this program.


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