Pennsylvania Opioid Surgical Stewardship Enterprise (POSSE)

POSSE (Pennsylvania Opioid Surgical Stewardship Enterprise) is a two-year quality improvement program funded by the AmerisourceBergen Foundation. The program launched in September of 2018 and focuses on preventing chronic opioid use among post-surgical patients. It employs a collaborative design that engages both surgical provider teams and patients, an approach that leverages the expertise of both the Clinical Improvement as well as the Population Health teams at HCIF. 

Leadership: Dr. Henry Pitt (MD, FACS) of Temple University Health System serves as executive champion for the program. Dr. Matthew Philp (MD, FACS, FASCRS), also of Temple, serves as surgical champion. The POSSE project is also guided by a Steering Committee that includes both champions, clinician representation from three participating health systems, and HCIF staff.


Patient-centered domain: The project involves aggregating or developing health-literate patient educational materials. Educational content may include advising patients of risks related to opioids, recognizing signs of opioid misuse, and proper prescription disposal methods. POSSE also engages a Patient and Family Advisory Committee, whose members offer guidance on the development of health-literate, patient-centered materials.


Provider-centered domain: The project collects data on existing practices related to opioid screening, counseling, and prescribing in surgical care. Educational opportunities for surgical teams offer content on emerging best practices for screening surgical patients for opioid use, setting patient expectations for pain management, and prescribing practices. Along with other hospitals in the state, the POSSE program engages members of the Pennsylvania National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) Consortium. Dr. Scott Cowan (MD, FACS) of Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals serves as President for the Consortium. Together, these hospitals collaborate on data collection, intervention implementation, and evaluation.