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See how one of our NHQCC teams improved their pain measure


Best Practices for Pain Management

Implement comprehensive pain assessment and tracking systems

Use pain assessments to create individualized, person-centered care plans

Work with attending providers and an interdisciplinary team to schedule medication in anticipation of activities that may exacerbate pain

Implement an ongoing education program for staff, residents, and families on how effective pain management can improve quality of life and speed healing



Consider modifying your admission process to assess initial pain and introduce the topic of pain management to the patient and their family.

View research available on the ConsultGeri website regarding the use of pain assessments for:

older adults in general

those with dementia

to distinguish between nociceptive and neuropathic pain

See the Geriatric Pain website for several assessment-related tools


Several trackers are available from the National Nursing Home Quality Improvement campaign


University of Washington Pain and Opioid Consult Hotline for Clinicians
Clinicians located in Washington who are treating patients with complex pain medication regimens can get free consultations with UW pain specialists.

Resources for educating staff and patients/families are available on the Geriatric Pain website

Standards and Guidelines

CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain
Published in March 2016, the CDC guideline provides recommendations about the appropriate prescribing of opioid pain relievers and other treatment options to improve pain management and patient safety. Download the guideline and the prescribing checklist, and get other related resources.

Guideline for the Pharmacological Management of Persistent Pain in Older Persons
American Geriatrics Society

Clinical Practice Guideline: Pain Management
(AMDA; available at a discounted price for its members)

Nursing Standard of Practice Protocol: Pain Management in Older Adults
Evidence-Based Geriatric Nursing Protocols for Best Practice, 4th Edition

Best Practices for Opioids Prescribing and Use

See our selection of tools and guidelines related to appropriate opioid management.

General Resources

AMDA has compiled a variety of resources, news updates, and articles related to pain management.