Default setting in electronic medical records ‘nudged’ emergency department physicians to limit opioid prescriptions to 10 tablets

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For patients who have never been prescribed opioids, larger numbers of tablets given with the initial prescription is associated with long-term use and more tablets leftover that could be diverted for misuse or abuse. Implementing a default option for a lower quantity of tablets in the electronic medical records (EMR) discharge orders may help combat the issue by “nudging” physicians to prescribe smaller quantities consistent with prescribing guidelines.

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