Skip to Content
Skip to Navigation

Rural clinicians manage chronic pain with help from Dr. David Tauben

Posted on April 12th, 2013

From UW Medicine Online News:

The following article was adapted from an article by Catherine Britain published in News & Views, a publication of the Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center.

Rural providers can be uncomfortable when treating patients with chronic pain. The UW Division of Pain Medicine wants to help change that. They offer weekly TelePain services using a panel of interprofessional specialists who are experts in the management of challenging chronic pain problems.  

David Tauben, interim chief of the Division of Pain Medicine and medical director of UW Center for Pain Relief (photo, left), serves as the clinical lead for UW TelePain. Tauben states that limited training and expertise of community providers in pain medicine has led to poor patient outcomes and limited access to specialists, a problem detailed by the 2011 US Institute of Medicine report on pain care in America (more than 33,000 people with chronic pain for every specialist) and highlighted by Washington state’s 2012 opioid prescribing rules that require pain specialty consultations for high dose and high risk patients.

UW Medicine telehealth program has been providing UW Telepain video-conferencing to support community providers (both primary and specialty) in the management of complex and challenging chronic pain problems since 2006 as part of a telehealth project funded HRSA’s Office for the Advancement of Telehealth. The project was designed to serve American Indian and Alaska Native communities. With funding from the National Institutes of Health, the program was expanded to include rural hospitals and clinics. In 2011, the program merged with a new collaboration between the UW Division of Pain Medicine and Project ECHO (Extension for Community Health Outcomes) at the University of Mexico, sharing the mission "to develop the capacity to safely and effectively treat chronic, common, and complex diseses in rural and underserved areas, and to monitor outcomes of this treatment."

Read the entire article in News & Views.