An Interview with Kevin L. Zacharoff, MD
What is the purpose of the new PainEDU webinar series?
Kevin L. Zacharoff, MD: The intention of this new webinar series is really to start interacting with our “PainEDU Community” in a new and meaningful way. As this community continues to grow significantly with more than 65,000 registrants, our team felt it was important to have a new channel of communication with our registrants that is more dynamic, allowing us to share new developments with our community and get their feedback.
EM: What topics were covered in the PainEDU June webinar?
KZ: The first webinar was devoted to presenting an addition to the PainEDU tool set that we have developed with National Institutes of Health funding. The tool is called the PainCAS: Clinical Assessment System, and is an innovative electronic standardized assessment for both initial and follow-up purposes. The comprehensive pain assessments also incorporate our proprietary opioid risk assessment tools, the Screener and Opioid Assessment for Patients with Pain (SOAPP), and the Current Opioid Misuse Measure (COMM). The webinar was the first large-scale presentation of the new PainCAS tool, and we felt that it was the perfect candidate to be the first topic of the webinar series.
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EM: How is PainCAS a part of PainEDU?
KZ: PainEDU has long been the home of tools and resources that have been developed to help clinicians better manage their patients with pain. PainCAS is the newest addition to that set of tools.
EM: Is PainEDU developing more commercial tools?
KZ: We did get a few questions on this subject after the webinar. I think that many members of our PainEDU Community use our tools in their daily clinical practices, health systems, etc. While people are certainly used to having access to our tools with no cost associated with them, in fact, a commercialization plan is an important part of the NIH SBIR grant application; the plan needs to be well thought out, and have significant potential for commercial success. We developed PainCAS as a tool that can benefit clinicians, healthcare systems, and patients in a variety of ways. As a commercial tool, PainCAS has the potential to further assist members of the PainEDU Community like no other tool we have previously developed. A tool like PainCAS requires a lot of moving pieces including maintenance, and therefore requires a cost to be associated with its use. Of course, this is in addition to all of the other aspects of the PainEDU program that are available at no cost to our registered users. We definitely feel that the costs associated with use of PainCAS are negligible compared to the potential value proposition.
EM: How was PainCAS developed?
KZ: PainCAS was developed with NIH funding as a commercial tool through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program.
EM: What type of benefits does PainCAS offer clinicians and organizations?
KZ: I think that someone would need to watch the archived version of the webinar to get the complete answer to that question, but a few benefits rise to the surface in my mind. PainCAS captures all of the questions and answers in a comprehensive initial or follow-up assessment, and makes the pertinent positive information available to clinicians, in a simple, highly graphic format, that is quick and easy to interpret. PainCAS also reduces variability in the assessment process, which can benefit both clinicians and systems leading to consistency in assessment, treatment planning, and documentation.
EM: Where can people go to learn more about PainCAS and the June 25 webinar?
KZ: Click here to watch a recording of the webinar.
Click here to view the presentation slides.
Click here to visit the PainCAS website.
EM: When will the next PainEDU webinar be and what will it cover?
KZ: The next webinar will take place in September and will focus on the Science behind PainCAS.