Chronic pain affects one in five Canadians and is considered a silent epidemic. Pain BC is a non-profit organization comprised of patients, health care providers, physicians and others determined to support people living in pain. Since 2009, Pain BC has been leading efforts to reduce the burden of pain on individuals, families and communities.
In June of this year, the organization’s inaugural Pain BC Summit took place to foster further dialogue and action, share promising practices, successes and innovations in pain management, and increase the knowledge and capacity of people living with pain and of health care providers to reduce the burden of pain. The SSC is committed to improving the lives of people living with pain in BC and to that end provided the sole sponsorship of the Summit.
The Summit attracted 225 health care providers, administrators, academics, non-profit representatives, as well as patients and their families. Well attended education sessions covered the topics of:
- Strengthening the continuum of patient self-management
- Resources for clinical decision-making across the patient journey
- Practical application of opioid prescribing guidelines in a primary health care context
- System redesign: Fostering innovation and collaboration
Key recommendations coming out of the Summit include:
- Increasing access to information and education on pain management, increasing patient self-management, and improving the program’s overall structure
- Methods to attract more GPs to spend time with their chronic pain patients, better educating physicians and other health care practitioners on chronic pain management, and increasing and simplifying access to resources
- Suggestions to overcome the barriers of implementing the 2010 National Opioid Use Guideline
- Changing the current system paradigm which has a large cohort of patients bottlenecking at the tertiary chronic pain clinics while waiting for appointments, improving the fragmentation between primary, secondary and tertiary services, and better supporting patients as they transition from hospital to community based care.
- Developing a classification system for pain and corresponding fee codes.
The SSC supports the efforts of Pain BC and is providing up to $86,800 in one time funding to advance a pain strategy through pilot programs. We will be requesting that the Shared Care Committee also contribute funding to support the key recommendation arising from the Summit.
More information on the Pain Summit and Pain BC can be found here.