Precision Health at the University of Michigan will support a variety of precision-related research projects — across a broad spectrum of disciplines — occurring at U-M. Our pilot project will focus on opioid prescribing in the pre-surgical setting. This project will allow us to test and refine the resources and infrastructure that will be most useful to researchers. Additional projects will be selected in 2018.

Opioid misuse is a serious public health crisis that’s been sweeping across the United States. Currently, 78 Americans die each day due to opioid-related overdoses. The vast majority of individuals who become dependent on prescription opioids receive their first dose following surgical care. Precision Health at the University of Michigan is focusing on understanding the factors that put people at risk of long-term opioid use so that these patients can be prescribed alternative pain management strategies when having surgery.

One example of this work is the Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network (Michigan-OPEN). Led by U-M researchers, this initiative is developing novel preventative approaches to the opioid epidemic in the state of Michigan.

Michigan OPEN aims to ensure appropriate acute pain care following surgery, while protecting patients and communities by raising awareness about opioid misuse among patients and providers and creating interventions that reduce postoperative opioid prescribing and patient consumption.

Through a partnership with Michigan’s robust network of Continuous Quality Improvement programs funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Michigan-OPEN has a unique platform to gather data and implement change on a statewide scale to transform surgical pain management and curb opioid misuse.

Its U-M partners include: the Division of Pain Research, Department of Surgery, Department of Anesthesiology, the Center for Healthcare Outcomes & Policy and the Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation.