Date of Award

Fall 12-21-2017

Degree Type

Final Project

Degree Name

DNP Doctor of Nursing Practice




Mary Ellen Roberts, DNP

Committee Member

Joyce Maglione, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Margaret McSweeney, MSN


The increased prevalence of opioid use in society has led to an increase in surgical patients with a history of such use. Patients who use or are addicted to opioids have different tolerances and responses to anesthesia than non-opioid users, and will require different care than non-users both pre- and post-operatively. The means to identify this population prior to a surgical procedure is needed as a way to organize, plan and manage patient care during the perioperative period. An Opioid Risk Assessment Tool (ORAT) was used as a way to streamline the process of identifying these patients. This paper addresses the development, implementation and execution of this quality improvement project, along with the screening results from a population of 512 pre-surgical patients. As a result, the ORAT was installed as part of the computer screening tools in the Pre-Surgical Testing (PST) department at a leading academic cancer hospital.