Date of Award

Summer 2022

Document Type

Final DNP Paper

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



Faculty Chair

Amanda Bullard


Background: From 2019 to 2021, there has been an increase in opioid prescribing, leading to the current death rate of 136 Americans per day from an opioid overdose (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2021). In response to these shocking statistics, a Veterans Administration (VA) health care system initiated a face-to-face interdisciplinary opioid safety shared medical appointment (SMA). Although the face-to-face Opioid Safety SMA was successful in increasing opioid safety awareness, participation, and attendance for the SMA have declined over the last year.

Purpose: The purpose of the DNP project was to improve attendance for veterans participating in the Opioid Safety SMA within a VA health care system in 60 days thus increasing opioid safety awareness.

Methods: To improve attendance throughout the five-session SMA currently being completed face-to-face, a virtual SMA (VSMA) was implemented. Outcomes were measured by comparing attendance for all virtual sessions to past practice attendance results.

Results: The outcome data from chart reviews, pre- and post-VSMA implementation, reveal that a VSMA is statistically significant in improving the average percentage of attendance, average number of participants per session, and average sessions received per patient compared to the face-to-face Opioid Safety SMA.

Conclusion:. Increasing patients' access to the opioid safety SMA via a virtual platform and the tools necessary to participate increased attendance and participation in the evidence-based patient education program.

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Included in

Nursing Commons



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