Minimizing Opioid Prescribing in Surgery (MOPiS) Initiative: An Analysis of Implementation Barriers

Julia M. Coughlin, Meagan L. Shallcross, Willemijn L.A. Schäfer, Barbara A. Buckley, Jonah J. Stulberg, Jane L. Holl, Karl Y. Bilimoria, Julie K. Johnson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: The United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. In response, our institution developed the Minimizing Opioid Prescribing in Surgery (MOPiS) initiative. MOPiS is a multicomponent intervention including: (1) patient education on opioid safety and pain management expectations; (2) clinician education on safe opioid prescribing; (3) prescribing data feedback; (4) patient risk screening to assess for addictive behavior; and (5) optimizations to the electronic health record (EHR). We conducted a preintervention formative evaluation to identify barriers and facilitators to implementation. Materials and methods: We conducted 22 semistructured interviews with key stakeholders (surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, and administrators) at six hospitals within a single health care system. Interviewees were asked about perceived barriers and facilitators to the components of the intervention. Responses were analyzed to identify common themes using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research. Results: We identified common themes of potential implementation barriers and classified them under 12 Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research domains and three intervention domains. Time and resource constraints (needs and resources), the modality of educational material (design quality and packaging), and prescribers’ concern for patient satisfaction scores (external policy and incentives) were identified as the most significant structural barriers. Resident physicians, pharmacists, and pain specialists were identified as potential key facilitating actors to the intervention. Conclusions: We identified specific barriers to successful implementation of an opioid reduction initiative in a surgical setting. In our MOPiS initiative, a preintervention formative evaluation enabled the design of strategies that will overcome implementation barriers specific to the components of our initiative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-319
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Barriers
  • Implementation science
  • Opioid prescribing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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