These six questions represent significant issues in the overall pain management program.  The questions follow pain management quality processes from the Advancing Excellence process frameworks, are evidence based, and consistent with other recommendations on the website.   These questions can be used to initiate a straightforward but comprehensive quality improvement program for pain management.

  1. Was an appropriate, comprehensive, and timely pain assessment completed for this older adult within 24 hours of admission?  (Definition:  Using a pain assessment tool that is appropriate to the older adult’s condition and cognitive status that includes pain history, type of pain, location, intensity, diagnosis/cause, and pain management goal)
  2. Was an appropriate, comprehensive, and timely pain assessment for this older adult completed upon a significant change of condition that affected older adult’s pain?  (Definition:  Using a pain assessment tool that is appropriate to the older adult’s condition and cognitive status that includes pain history, type of pain, location, intensity, diagnosis/cause, and pain management goal)
  3. Is there an individual pain goal and treatment plan identified for this older adult documented in the care plan?  (Definition: addresses personal pain goals, and interventions/strategies to address the effects of the pain, to alleviate aggravating factors, to support alleviating factors, and to address drug side effects)
  4. Are the older adult’s analgesic or treatment side effects assessed and documented if they have them?  If no, state none.
  5.  Did older adults have their moderate to severe pain treated appropriately?  (If the pain was severe, did nurse choose the medication ordered for moderate to severe pain)
  6. Was there a reassessment of older adult’s pain following therapy?  (Definition: within 1 hr of analgesic administration)

PDF iconRecommended Pain QI Questions - PDF Version