The Cleveland Clinic Pain Management Department takes an interdisciplinary team approach to the evaluation and treatment of your pain.
The center is directed by anesthesiologists who are board-certified in pain management in the Anesthesiology Institute. We are closely linked with the departments of Psychiatry and Psychology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Neurosurgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, Taussig Cancer Institute and the Center for Spine Health.
- Pain management physicians
- Specially trained nurses and nurse clinicians
- Occupational and physical therapists
- Financial counselor to answer questions about insurance
- Social Services professionals
The Pain Management Department has grown to meet the demands of the patient population and the entire healthcare environment. According to a recent national comparative analysis conducted by our department, only about one-third of hospitals across the nation were found to maintain pain management programs. Only a small percentage of these programs offer the comprehensive approach delivered by the clinical staff at Cleveland Clinic. In a 2002 study, The National Health Care Advisory concurred that only 36 percent of hospitals nationally maintain pain programs. The advisory board has identified four factors that have propelled pain management to the forefront of hospital agendas.
Trends in pain management
- Modern technology has given us more surgery survivors and a larger elderly population over the last 10 years. The advent of procedures such as the IDET (intradiscal electrothermal therapy), spinal cord stimulation and kyphoplasty have proven to enhance the lives of those suffering from chronic pain.
- Acceptance of alternative therapies has risen in mainstream medicine. Cleveland Clinic's Pain Management Department recognizes this and added talented acupuncturists Tim Rhudy, MS, LAc, and Hong Shen, MD to the main campus, Beachwood, Hillcrest Hospital, Lutheran Hospital, Solon and Westlake locations.
- Heightened awareness of palliative care brought about the development of the Cancer Pain Clinic located in the Taussig Cancer Institute.
- Increased physician interest and the identification of reimbursement issues have driven anesthesiologists to identify the need to develop these programs and keep solvent.
In addition to the four factors identified by the National Health Care Advisory, federal, regional and local legislation have influenced the need for pain management services as an alternative to the Kevorkian-assisted suicide treatment plan. The mandate from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations to address pain management throughout the healthcare organization has driven the education and implementation of pain management throughout the country.
According to an article in the Los Angeles Times (Marsa, 8/2/01), several barriers to effective pain management still exist. The managed care industry has been slow to recognize the substantial cost effectiveness of a pain management program. Challenges imposed by Medicare remain a barrier as well. Despite these barriers, the pain management program remains one of the most solvent departments at Cleveland Clinic. Successful outcomes and profound patient testimonials speak for themselves. The Department of Pain Management had more than 45,000 patient visits.
While these are challenging times for pain management centers across the country, the Pain Management department at Cleveland Clinic continues to grow and flourish. One of the hallmarks of its success is the team concept of treating patients through a multidisciplinary approach. Cleveland Clinic Pain Management Centers are truly a one-stop shop for pain management needs.
Patients will benefit from the Cleveland Clinic's group practice approach to care, with more than 2,000 physicians in 120 specialties and subspecialties available for consultation, if needed.