A new program at Stanford Hospital & Clinics is taking a multidisciplinary approach to help ease the pain of those suffering from a gastrointestinal disorder. The Gastrointestinal (GI) Pain Program brings together GI specialists and experts from the Stanford Pain Management Center, creating what pain expert Ravi Prasad, PhD, calls the best of both worlds:
Both sets of specialists, in pain management and in GI, can share and apply their intimate knowledge of their fields in a formal structure. We have a multidisciplinary conference about each patient; we all talk about the case together; we reach a consensus. It’s a much richer experience and result than just reading each other’s notes in the electronic medical record.
A recent report by the Institute of Medicine revealed that more than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, and it called for a cultural transformation in how our society views and treats chronic pain. Prasad says the new program responds to the challenges detailed in that report:
Patients can feel lost in the system. People were getting helped, but that lack of communication was distressing. Now, when they know that their providers are talking with each other, they’re a lot more satisfied. You can feel like you’re getting the runaround when you’re shuttled back and forth.
You can read more about the program in this Stanford Hospital release.