Implementing a New Pain Coach Education Service in an Academic Medical Center During the COVID Pandemic

Amid the US opioid epidemic, providers and patients with acute and chronic pain are desperately searching for non-opioid or nonpharmacologic management options. A pilot pain coaching and education consultation service was developed by the Pain Assessment and Management Initiative (PAMI) at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville and officially launched December 2020. This program is accompanied by a pain discharge tool cart filled with integrative pain management options. In this course, we will explain how the team navigated electronic medical record (EMR) charting and patient notification processes, developed a data collection system, educated multiple staff disciplines and specialties, and brought this coaching service to patients and providers in an urban academic medical center. We will share lessons learned and steps required to implement a program in an ED, trauma center, or hospital. Topics include developing a job description, hiring the right person, training and shadowing, working with IT analysts to develop a model EMR consult note template, communication and champion development with stakeholders, clinicians and administrators, tips for identifying patients, refining the coaching script and approach, development of patient education materials and toolkits, and formulation of a quality improvement program and data collection plan.

Learning Objectives

  • Outline a framework for implementation of a pain coach and education program utilizing non-pharmacologic and non-opioid modalities for treatment of acute and chronic pain in the ED or hospital setting. 
  • Define acute and chronic patients best suited for pain coaching by setting, type of pain, and comorbidities. 
  • Describe components of a pain coach program to include documentation, referral systems, program stakeholders, tracking metrics, patient resources and tools.

Additional Information

Tarsus Medical Education
State Relevance: 
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Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AANP Contact Hours
  • 1.00 ACPE Pharmacy
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 1.00 ANCC
  • 1.00 APA
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Phyllis Hendry, MD, FAAP, FACEP

Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics

Associate Chair for Research, Department of Emergency Medicine

University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville

Florida Department of Health EMS for Children Medical Director

Douglas Suffield, DACM, MAcOM, Dipl.OM, L.Ac

Pain Education Specialist

Department of Emergency Medicine

University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville


  • The PAMI Pain Coach and Patient Toolkit Programs are funded by the following grants and organizations: University of Florida College of Medicine — Jacksonville Department of Emergency Medicine, Florida Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association (FMMJUA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Emergency Department Alternatives to Opioids Demonstration Program (SAMHSA ED-ALT -grant number H79TI083101), Overdose Data to Action (OD2A). OD2A is a grant-based program with 100% of its funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The content of all PAMI materials, programs and presentations are those of the authors and investigators and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by FMMJUA, CDC, HHS, or the U.S. Government.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AANP Contact Hours
  • 1.00 ACPE Pharmacy
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 1.00 ANCC
  • 1.00 APA
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