Provider education decreases opioid prescribing after pediatric umbilical hernia repair

Publication Date


Journal Title

J Pediatr Surg


© 2019 Elsevier Inc. Purpose: To improve opioid stewardship for umbilical hernia repair in children. Methods: An educational intervention was conducted at 9 centers with 79 surgeons. The intervention highlighted the importance of opioid stewardship, demonstrated practice variation, provided prescribing guidelines, encouraged non-opioid analgesics, and encouraged limiting doses/strength if opioids were prescribed. Three to six months of pre-intervention and 3 months of post-intervention prescribing practices for umbilical hernia repair were compared. Results: A total of 343 patients were identified in the pre-intervention cohort and 346 in the post-intervention cohort. The percent of patients receiving opioids at discharge decreased from 75.8% pre-intervention to 44.6% (p < 0.001)post-intervention. After adjusting for age, sex, umbilicoplasty, and hospital site, the odds ratio for opioid prescribing in the post- versus the pre-intervention period was 0.27 (95% CI = 0.18–0.39, p < 0.001). Among patients receiving opioids, the number of doses prescribed decreased after the intervention (adjusted mean 14.3 to 10.4, p < 0.001). However, the morphine equivalents/kg/dose did not significantly decrease (adjusted mean 0.14 to 0.13, p = 0.20). There were no differences in returns to emergency departments or hospital readmissions between the pre- and post-intervention cohorts. Conclusions: Opioid stewardship can be improved after pediatric umbilical hernia repair using a low-fidelity educational intervention. Type of Study: Retrospective cohort study. Level of Evidence: Level II.

Document Type



Faculty; Northwell Researcher


School of Medicine; Northwell Health

Primary Department


Additional Departments

General Pediatrics





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