Module 1: Professional Accountability and Prescribing

Lesson 4

Application of Universal Precautions to Increase Safety

In 2005, Gourlay, Heit and Almahrezi introduced the 10 Universal Precautions of Pain Medicine. Even though they were originally intended to guide the prescription of opioids for pain management, these principles have become foundational to safe prescribing practices for all controlled drugs and substances. The precautions include conducting an addiction risk assessment for patients who are either about to start a controlled drug or substance trial or are being treated with one of these agents, assessing pain and functionality on a regular basis, and using treatment agreements when prescribing controlled drugs and substances.