Six Building Blocks

A Team-Based Approach to Improving Opioid Management in Primary Care

Most patients taking opioids for chronic pain are managed by primary care providers and their staff. Many practices are looking for help in managing their patients using chronic opioid therapy. To meet this need, AHRQ funded the Six Building Blocks project through grant numbers R18 HS23750-01, R18 HS23750-02, and R18 HS23750-0. Additional funding was provided by Washington State Department of Health subcontract (HED23124) of Cooperative U17CE002734, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Six Building Blocks website is for people interested in improving the care of patients using chronic opioid therapy, such as:

  • Clinicians and staff.
  • Quality improvement personnel.
  • Practice coaches.
  • Clinic administrators.

The website provides a structured systems-based approach for improving management of patients on chronic opioid therapy, called the Six Building Blocks:

  • Demonstrate leadership support and develop consensus.
  • Revise and implement policies, patient agreements, and workflows.
  • Proactively track and monitor patient care.
  • Implement planned, patient-centered visits.
  • Develop resources to care for complex patients.
  • Measure implementation success.

Additional tools include a self-assessment, an implementation guide (Figure 1), and links to helpful resources.

Figure 1. Excerpt from implementation guide

Image of stages in 6 Building Blocks: stage 1: prepare & launch, stage 2: design & implement, stage 3: monitor & sustain

Page last reviewed July 2019
Page originally created July 2018
Internet Citation: Six Building Blocks. Content last reviewed July 2019. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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