Out of sight, out of mind? The impact on trauma patient opioid use when the medicine administration schedule is not displayed

Published:January 06, 2023DOI:


      • Removing the in-room displayed pain medication schedule in hospitalized trauma patients did not decrease opioid use.
      • Those without a displayed pain medication schedule used slightly more opioids despite using more non-narcotic modalities.
      • A displayed pain medication schedule for hospitalized trauma patients could represent an opportunityto decrease opioid use.



      The impact of a visual pain medication schedule on opioid use among hospitalized trauma patients is unknown. We examined whether removal of this displayed schedule would decrease oral morphine equivalent (OME) use.


      This retrospective cohort study compared OME use in trauma patients in the inpatient setting before and after removing the patient-facing pain medication schedule that is typically displayed on the patient's white board for all trauma admissions.


      707 patients were included. The control (n = 308, 43.6%) and intervention (n = 399, 56.4%) groups were similar in age (p = 0.06). There was no difference in total inpatient OME use between the control and intervention groups, median 50 (IQR: 22.5–118) vs 60 (IQR: 22.5–126), p = 0.79, respectively. No difference in total OME use was observed when patients were stratified by age, sex, race, ISS, and length of hospital stay.


      Removing a visual display of the pain medication schedule did not decrease OME use in inpatient trauma patients.


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