Blessing confident intravenous narcotic shortage can be managed

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 24, 2018 12:01 am Updated: Mar. 25, 2018 12:00 am

QUINCY -- Blessing Hospital thinks it is effectively combating a nationwide shortage of intravenous narcotics used for pain control.

The shortage of intravenous narcotics occurred when Pfizer, the world's largest manufacturer of the medications, changed production processes. The shortage could last as long as a year.

Intravenous narcotics help control pain in patients unable to take oral pain medications. To conserve the supply of intravenous narcotics, doctors at Blessing are ensuring that oral opioids and other, non-narcotic pain medications and therapies are prescribed whenever possible and as soon as possible. This shortage involves only intravenous narcotics and not the pill forms of the drugs.

"We have been monitoring this situation for months and put conservation measures in place from the start," said Dr. Mary Frances Barthel, chief of quality and safety at Blessing Hospital. "Thanks to the cooperation of the medical staff, the pharmacy staff and other caregivers, Blessing is in a better position than some other hospitals nationwide. Blessing is effectively treating pain in all patients.

"The shortage has provided an opportunity at Blessing and hospitals across the country. Doctors and patients are having different conversations about pain control and using one or more of the many safe, effective, non-narcotic pain relief methods available to patients who don't require narcotics for pain relief.

"Due to America's opiate overdose epidemic, this change was taking place before the nationwide shortage hit," Barthel said. "The shortage has accelerated the interest in and use of non-narcotic pain relief methods."

QMG earns honor

Quincy Medical Group was honored recently at the annual conference of the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

Chief Executive Officer Carol Brockmiller and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Schlepphorst accepted the Foundation Star Award on behalf of QMG, one of nine health-care organizations nationwide to receive the honor.

The award recognizes commitment to health-care quality.

"Receiving this recognition among the leading health-care organizations in the nation is a true honor," Brockmiller said. "Our team strives to provide the highest standard of care, and continuously seek ways to improve care for the patients and communities we serve. Our membership with AMGA provides valuable resources and tools to allow us to achieve this."

Striking out cancer

Registration is open for the ninth annual "Strike Out for Breast Cancer" at Tangerine Bowl. The event is scheduled April 28. All proceeds benefit the Breast Services' specific purpose fund of the Blessing Foundation. Major sponsors include Tangerine Bowl, KHQA, radio stations KZZK and WCOY radio and Mark Twain Casino.

Teams of five can register for $100. Registration forms are available at the Tangerine Bowl, Mark Twain Casino, Blessing Breast Center or at Registration is due by April 19 at the Blessing Breast Center, P.O. Box 7005, Quincy, IL 62305, Attn: Dawn Herzog to guarantee your requested T-shirt size. Bowlers can select from three sessions: noon, 3 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. The event also will feature a vote and prizes for the people's choice awards for favorite team costume, plus raffle baskets, 50/50 drawing and door prizes.

For more information, visit or call the Blessing Breast Center at 217-223-8400, ext. 4290, or Tangerine Bowl at 217-222-8262.


º Blessing Home Care and Blessing Hospice, services of Blessing Hospital, have earned accreditation from the national Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) through 2021. The accreditation was granted after an on-site survey by ACHC representatives.

Blessing Home Care provides people with skilled medical care to continue recovery from illness or injury in their home or other homelike setting outside the hospital.

Blessing Hospice provides end-of-life care to patients, and support to their loved ones, in the patient's home or another homelike setting.

º Blessing Hospital's Cardiac Rehabilitation program has earned certification from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

Cardiovascular rehabilitation programs are designed to help people with cardiovascular problems recover faster and improve their quality of life through exercise, education, counseling, and support for patients and their families.