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Addressing Acute Pain Management in Sickle Cell Patients Who Present to the Emergency Department


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Through a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) special innovation project, atom Alliance has initiated a collaborative in the Memphis area to partner with hospitals, physicians and ED clinicians, patients, community organizations and other stakeholders to improve care for adults (age 18+) with Sickle cell disease (SCD).

Unpredictable bouts of pain frequently force individuals with SCD to seek treatment in hospital emergency departments (ED). If not treated appropriately or in a timely fashion, these individuals may end up needing to be hospitalized. The atom Alliance will

  • Identify barriers and interventions to effective and timely pain management
  • Offer patient education through learning and action networks (LANs)
  • Offer ED staff educational LANs led by local and national SCD experts addressing SCD clinical overview and episodic variation, care plan tools, resources and appropriate treatment, evidence-based care and sample ED protocols and enhanced patient/provider communication via web-based tools
  • Share best practices

Our goals are to:

  • Reduce hospital ED visits
  • Decrease hospital admissions
  • Increase the use of patient care plan web tool
  • Increase patient satisfaction

Evidence-Based Management of Sickle Cell Disease: Expert Panel Report

Contact Frances Richardson, Sickle Cell Project Lead, at frichardson@qsource.org for more information.


PhotoVoice Project

SCD patients shared their experiences with Mid-South doctors, nurses and other clinical personnel at several local hospital emergency departments. Coined as “PopSickleCell” Day, providers were treated to popsicles while mingling among the PhotoVoice photo displays and interacting with SCD patients and educators. Gourmet popsicle maker MemPops joined the cause by donating a portion of the sales during September to The Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee.

Local media spread the word with news coverage and live interviews on the evening news and morning talk shows. By the end of September, more than one million Mid-Southerners were made aware of SCD and more than 500 doctors and nurses were engaged in face-to-face discussion and education about the disease.

Check out the links to media coverage below:

We can provide a voice for patients with diabetes, pain management and other chronic conditions by developing a PhotoVoice project for your organization. Contact Brooke Tweddell at btweddell@qsource.org or call 1-800-528-2655.

On-Demand Webinars and Podcasts

Caroline Freiermuth, MD – Treating Sickle Cell Disease in the ED
On ACEP Frontline, host Dr. Ryan Stanton and his guest Dr. Caroline Freiermuth discuss treating the Sickle Cell patient when they present to the ED. June 19 was Sickle Cell awareness day, so it’s the perfect time to refresh your understanding of this rare but significant disease and get some pearls for the management of the patient.

Dr. Patricia Kavanagh discusses caring for the pediatric patient with Sickle Cell Disease. While some areas of the country see more presentations of Sickle Cell Disease than others, it’s important to be prepared for this patient.
Sickle Cell Disease and The Pediatric Patient

Streamlining Care for Sickle Cell Pain in the Adult Emergency Department

Pain and Sickle Cell Disease: Treatment and Guidelines

Sickle Cell Disease – Look Behind the Pain – Dr. Patricia Adams-Graves

Sickle Cell Disease Pain Management: How Much of an Emergency is Pain in Sickle Cell Disease? – Dr. Jane Hankins

Achieving Success Through Synergy -Aligning Patients and Providers to Improve Pain Management for Sickle Cell Disease – Frances Richardson, Dominique Friend and Dr. Sophie Lanzkron

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Evidence-Based Guidelines Are Important for Sickle Cell Disease
Evidence-Based Guidelines Are Important for Sickle Cell Disease

Preview: Evidence-Based Guidelines Are Important for Sickle Cell Disease
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Sickle Cell Disease Resources for Providers and Patients
Sickle Cell Disease Resources for Providers and Patients

Preview: Sickle Cell Disease Resources for Providers and Patients
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233.97 KB | Last Updated: April 12, 2019