Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine >> Patient Care >> Pain >> TelePain

About TelePain

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Wednesdays, 12:00-1:30pm, click here to register and connect


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UW TelePain is a free weekly service funded by the Washington State Legislature for community providers intended to increase knowledge and confidence in chronic pain management, and to present difficult chronic pain cases for consultation. The University of Washington Division of Pain Medicine delivers weekly UW TelePain sessions via audio and videoconference, and includes a network of interprofessional specialists with expertise in the management of challenging chronic pain problems. The goal is to increase the knowledge and skills of community practice providers who treat patients with chronic pain.

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History of UW TelePain

UW TelePain is one of many services provided by the UW Medicine Telehealth division, first established in 2001. Using telehealth to improve pain care was first piloted at UW in 2006 as part of a project in American Indian communities, funded by HRSA's Office for the Advancement of Telehealth. In 2009, it was expanded through an NIH grant to include rural hospitals and clinics. In 2011, the UW Division of Pain Medicine's program merged with the University of New Mexico's Project ECHO (Extension for Community Health Outcomes), first inspired by Sanjeev Arora MD. This telemedicine model aims to create a provider learning community as providing consultation on individual patients. To learn more about UNM's ECHO projects, visit http://echo.unm.edu/. UW Medicine TelePain shares Project ECHO's continuing mission to safely and effectively treat chronic, common, and complex diseases in rural and underserved areas, and to monitor outcomes of this treatment. UW TelePain gained statewide publicity when the Seattle Pain clinics closed in 2016, helping community providers to manage complex chronic pain patients. This educational activity is currently supported by the Washington State Health Care Authority.

UW TelePain Testimonials

"UW TelePain is a remarkably effective video conference-based consultative network providing tertiary center/university level expertise to assist community providers (both primary and specialty) in the management of complex and challenging chronic pain problems. I practice in Lewis County where I am the lone pain specialist.  I am thus the recipient of some very difficult chronic pain referrals from my colleagues and in the past I have often felt like I was by myself at the end of a very long rope.  Yet thanks to UW TelePain, I can join in a lively, interactive session where I can gain access to expert second opinions and collegial advice on tough cases.  I have come to truly look forward to Wednesdays now!" - Anonmymous

"I have found these conferences to be very helpful in helping me maintain and increase my knowledge and skills needed to treat the complex chronic pain patients that I see in my community practice.  This allows me real time access to multidisciplinary experts capable of providing helpful recommendations to assist me in caring for these most challenging patients." - Gregory T. Carter MD MS, Centralia, WA

“The teleconferences are a huge asset for me, as a mid-level working in a rural setting. I get some tough cases to manage – people on astronomical doses of opiates and benzodiazepines together. I wanted to know more about morphine-equivalent dosing.  Providers don’t always know what to do, and these sessions let you know you’re not alone. As you listen to other doctors presenting cases and diagnoses, you hear something and wonder, ‘Why didn't I think of that?’ You're always learning.” - Rachel Stappler, PA-C, Coos Bay and Medford, Oregon

“Their presentations are very up-to-date, so you get the latest on how to manage patients with chronic pain: Do the physical therapy, do the tapering, lab and x-ray studies. They talk about complementary care like acupuncture, exercise, massage, even chiropractic – because if you’re telling patients that medication will be less, you want to give them something else." - Anonymous

"We inherit these patients who are already at a higher dose, so we’re kind of stuck. How do we turn it around and get opioid-dependent or addicted folks back to more appropriate dosing? The UW faculty gave me the tools to be firm and establish that opioid levels need to come down. They gave me confidence in my direction.” - Ron Bergman, MD, Port Angeles, WA