Opioid Change Package and Tools


All practice improvements require changes to be implemented.  The opioid change package is intended to help physicians and team members implement practice changes that improve care for patients who use opioids. The change package tools were designed to work best in conjunction with quality improvement training to maximize the impact. Virtual training is available for the topic through the online course below. 

The potentially better practices listed are derived from a review of the literature, clinical practice guidelines, and from expert recommendations. They are anticipated to improve the care of patients who are using opioids. However, the list of practices is not exhaustive and should be customized, tested, and evaluated in your own clinical setting before you will know whether they are truly "better".

"The specialty of family medicine is built on relationships physicians and teams have with patients. Those relationships open windows to our patient's lives and often trigger discussions around difficult topics including pain and opioid use. As we continue to battle the opioid crisis in Canada, thanks to you and your teams for continuing to work with those using opioids and those at risk who may be initiating opioids. Learning how to structure our team based approach to this complex population moves us yet another step along the path to Patient's Medical Home."

- Dr. Brad Bahler


Sit in as we discuss the opioid response with Dr. Christine Luelo. We discuss the role of primary care in Alberta’s opioid response, practical tips for primary care clinics to do this work effectively (using all of the team members), how to use non-judgmental language talking to patients and the importance of panel – knowing who your patients are.


Opioid Process Improvement Change Package

The opioid process improvement change package was developed by the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) Accelerating Change Transformation Team (ACTT). Input was sought from patients who have lived experience using opioids and providers with experience treating patients who use opioids. The opioid process improvement change package supports the Primary Healthcare Opioid Response Initiative (PHC ORI) which aligns provincial health partners supporting primary care teams to effectively tackle the opioid crisis in Alberta. Partners in this initiative include Alberta College of Family Physicians, Alberta Health, and Alberta Health Services. The opioid process improvement change package was developed, tested and disseminated to stakeholders between April 2018 and March 2020.

Download the full Opioid Process Improvement Change Package

Appendix E: Rationale for Opioid Potentially Better Practices and Implementation Advice

AMA Summary Report - PHCORI

This brief report highlights the key learnings from PCN and primary care teams in responding to the opioid crisis that was supported by the AMA Accelerating Care Transformation Team.

Download the full AMA Summary Report