Patient Pain Assessment tool

Regardless of age, gender, or patient history, pain management is integral to successful health care in a hospital setting. When adequate pain assessment and management practices are not in place, patient well-being and quality of life can dramatically decrease.

Pain is not straightforward to measure, with many internal and external factors that can influence patients’ experience and expression of pain. For clinicians to deliver a correct diagnosis and effective health outcomes, assessing pain with a patient pain assessment tool that enables accuracy and efficiency is essential.

What is a pain assessment tool?

Pain assessment tools are used to quantify, track and provide a greater understanding of patient pain levels. Assessment is the first step in the development of an effective pain management plan. To provide optimal patient care, pain assessment should be based on objective indicators and be completed regularly.

Treating the whole patient

Patients with chronic pain experiences rate their quality of life lower than those with almost all other medical conditions. Persistent pain affects a person physically and psychologically and may require treatment from several primary health professionals (for example, a psychologist, physiotherapist, and general practitioner).

Effective treatment is reliant on continuity amongst all of the healthcare professionals involved in the diagnosis and subsequent care decisions. By using a pain assessment tool that collates, tracks and integrates data, standards of care increase.

Benefits of using PainChek’s patient pain assessment tool

PainChek is a leading pain assessment tool that has been approved as a medical device in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, the EU and Canada.

PainChek empowers healthcare professionals of all levels and specialties by enabling the accurate measurement of pain and efficient collaboration on pain management decisions. The app allows a team of carers or clinicians to record, access, and track patients’ pain levels, all in one easy-to-use platform.

Historically, pain scales have been manual and paper-based. With healthcare staff often working under time pressure, uploading pain assessment data to clinical systems is often overlooked.

In response to this, PainChek is fully integrated with leading clinical system providers. As soon as the digital assessment is conducted and completed, the findings are seamlessly uploaded to a provider’s existing system.

As PainChek is built around an open API there is the additional benefit of integrations being two-way. All pain assessments are uploaded in real-time, which means there’s no manual handling of data and no duplication of effort. The result is a point of care tool that gives time back to healthcare teams, whilst enabling improved pain management practices.

Helping to address common challenges of pain assessment

PainChek addresses the challenges of pain assessment within acute care settings, particularly for those living with dementia or cognitive impairment. These challenges include the subjectivity of reviews conducted based on a carer’s prior knowledge/perceptions of the patient, or a lack of confidence to assess pain using specialist tools or methods.

To ensure that PainChek users are empowered to use the app to provide best practice pain management, PainChek offers a virtual training program. The program is delivered via live webinar sessions, designed by an experienced clinical team and hosted by a PainChek clinical consultant.

Assessing and managing pain in non-verbal patients

Face Analysis

It can be challenging for clinicians and nurses to detect pain in certain groups that are unable to self-report their pain. Older people with dementia or cognitive impairment may have a fluctuating ability to verbalise, whilst young children may be pre-verbal or have an inadequate vocabulary to articulate levels of pain.

PainChek’s facial analysis technology addresses this by identifying the presence of pain using artificial intelligence to automatically identify and mark micro-facial indicators of pain, even when it is not obvious or when the patient is unable to verbalise.

A PainChek Assessment

PainChek has automated the multidimensional pain assessment process.

Via the PainChek Universal app, carers use a smartphone camera to observe micro-facial indicators of pain on their patient’s face. The app identifies the presence or absence of specific facial muscle movements which contribute to the overall assessment outcome.

The person carrying out the assessment is then guided through a brief questionnaire, recording answers relating to the five key domains, which cover a broad range of different potential indicators of pain. These include vocalisation, movement, behavioural change, changes in activity, and physical change. For those that can self-report, there is also the opportunity for them to rate their pain with the app’s Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) function.

PainChek then calculates an overall pain score and pain severity level ranging from no pain to mild, moderate, or severe pain.

The result is that healthcare teams can be assured that they are delivering consequent pain management plans based on accurate and patient-unique results.

Interested in rolling out PainChek® in your healthcare facility? Get started today in minutes.

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