Available Until 7/7/2024

Opioid Stewardship Certificate

Release Date:  July 7, 2021
Expiration Date: July 7, 2024
Activity Type: Application-based
CE Credit Hour(s): 22 hours
Activity Fee:  $445.00/$545.00 member/non-member


This self-guided, online program will provide 22 hours of ACPE continuing education for pharmacists, incorporating recorded presentations, readings, and practice activities.

How do you reduce the suffering of pain patients while reducing their risk of addiction? This is the question that opioid stewardship programs aim to answer. This certificate delves into methods for developing an opioid stewardship program from its infancy through maturity and quality improvement. This includes strategies for creating executive leadership support and practitioner buy-in, using data and metrics to inform program development, quality improvement, and management, methods for educating the healthcare team and patients, and patient care strategies that identify and mitigate risks while incorporating shared decision-making with patients and/or caregivers. 

Upon completion of this program, participants should be proficient in methods of developing opioid stewardship programs that identify opportunities for improvement available at their institution, encourage safe prescribing of opioids, and reduce opioid-related adverse events.

Professional Certificate Requirement 

Once a learner has successfully completed the educational curriculum, he/she will have the opportunity to complete a 100 question comprehensive exam. If the learner successfully completes the exam (minimum 80% passing rate; unlimited attempts permitted), he/she will be eligible to earn the professional certificate.


The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

This continuing pharmacy education activity is intended for pharmacists seeking to expand their knowledge and skills in opioid stewardship.

Introduction and Goals

  1. Describe the current state of the opioid crisis.
  2. Analyze factors and influencers of the opioid crisis.
  3. Summarize the rationale and purpose of opioid stewardship.
  4. Identify the current gaps and priorities for implementing or expanding opioid stewardship initiatives.
  5. Assess how patient engagement and shared decision-making can improve opioid safety and stewardship efforts.

Executive Leadership Support

  1. Apply a model of opioid stewardship and continuous quality improvement for engaging leadership support.
  2. Summarize the process to create a multi-disciplinary steering committee for opioid stewardship that integrates into the organizational leadership structure.
  3. Identify an accountability structure for leadership review of opioid stewardship metrics.
  4. Identify regulatory requirements for controlled substances that impact provider practice requirements, patient outcomes, and community safety.
  5. Explain education interventional strategies that improve opioid risk mitigation through team based interprofessional care delivery models.
  6. Design a business case to support electronic health record decision support that enhances safe prescribing practice measures aligned with a high reliability organization model.

Opioid Stewardship Program Development and Implementation

  1. Design a comprehensive plan for a chartered, multi-disciplinary pain management and opioid stewardship committee and program.
  2. Outline an implementation process that incorporates dynamic and routine data monitoring for assessing changes and action plan mapping for sustainability.
  3. Choose strategies that establish bi-directional communication with a loop-closing plan that ensures feedback.
  4. Evaluate key organizational opioid stewardship gaps and opportunities through data review.
  5. Calculate opioid stewardship financial implications, business case, and return on investment.
  6. Apply tools and resources for achieving organizational goals related to pain management and opioid safety.

Policy and Advocacy

  1. Apply legislation in an organizational workflow to optimize pain management and opioid safety.
  2. Compare prescriber adherence to state regulations for opioid prescribing across different departments.
  3. Analyze the needs of patients with opioid use disorder for use in creating harm reduction and treatment resources.
  4. Summarize methods to obtain stakeholder and medical staff engagement for opioid stewardship policies, quality improvement, and patient safety.
  5. Develop a planning strategy for managing opioid medication shortages.
  6. Analyze strategies for detecting drug diversion.

Performance Metric Identification and Measurement

  1. Define outcome measurement that reflects evidence-based care and patient functional pain management goals.
  2. Identify opioid stewardship program goals and metrics.
  3. Use data to track metrics and inform opioid stewardship program direction and focus.
  4. Recommend an academic detailing effort based on available data to tailor interventions for patients, prescribers, and other healthcare team members.
  5. Evaluate the use of balancing measures to address unintended consequences of opioid stewardship interventions.

Use and Integration of Technology and Data

  1. Evaluate opportunities for integration of relevant opioid data to inform safe prescribing.
  2. Use predictive analytics to identify opioid-related risks and inform optimal management strategies.
  3. Compare pain management order sets and treatment pathways that build in safe practices while utilizing shared decision-making strategies.
  4. Develop methods to share opioid-prescribing data with clinicians.
  5. Analyze patient-centric options using virtual healthcare strategies and digital health in opioid stewardship.
  6. Differentiate between traditional and contemporary diversion prevention solutions.

Healthcare Team Education and Training

  1. Apply evidence-based guidelines to multidisciplinary staff training and education on safe opioid usage.
  2. Analyze currently available opioid educational resources for use in educating the multidisciplinary staff at your institution.
  3. Evaluate how context contributes to the complexity of pain management in special populations.
  4. Use concepts of pain management for special populations in a patient case.
  5. Apply academic detailing services to support healthcare provider education and promote prescriber behavioral change to improve safe pain care, risk mitigation, and opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment.

Patient Care: Optimize Safe Opioid Prescribing and Pain Management Practices

  1. Analyze pain management strategies across practice settings that emphasize opioid reduction and risk mitigation.
  2. Apply processes to recognize patients at high risk for adverse outcomes related to opioid therapy.
  3. Create an individualized, evidence-based pain management plan that includes measurable pain management goals.
  4. Identify opioid-related adverse drug events (ORADEs) and appropriate management.
  5. Recommend best practice opioid-associated care coordination and communication across service lines and treatment providers.
  6. Differentiate patients appropriate for referral to pain management specialty care.
  7. Apply methods to screen and engage patients with opioid use disorder in harm reduction and addiction treatment services.
  8. Recommend population health management programs for patients with high-risk opioid therapy.

Patient Care: Pharmacist Practitioner Roles in Pain Management and Opioid Safety

  1. Outline the foundational components for the pharmacist practitioner scope of practice and collaborative practice agreements as part of team-based care.
  2. Differentiate the roles of the pharmacist practitioner as part of the collaborative care team.
  3. Describe the pharmacist practitioner role in safe pain care and opioid stewardship across acute and chronic care settings, including transitions of care.
  4. Use evidence-based screening tools and population health strategies for identifying patients at risk for long-term opioid use, opioid use disorder (OUD), and potential overdose.
  5. Design a clinical care process that incorporates OUD screening, brief intervention, and referral for treatment (SBIRT), as appropriate.
  6. Compare the role of the pharmacist practitioner in patient care delivery and as an opioid stewardship champion.

Patient and Family/Caregiver Education and Engagement and Community Outreach

  1. Apply patient and caregiver educational models on functional outcomes, expectations, and management plans.
  2. Analyze resources currently available to patients within the community for harm reduction.
  3. Apply educational strategies that inform patients and family members on the risks and side effects of opioids and reducing the potential for overdose.
  4. Recommend patient-centered resources for comprehensive pain management.
  5. Apply effective communication strategies for discussing pain management plans.

Strong Practice Successes

  1. Describe methodologies of strong stewardship practices for cross-organizational implementation.
  2. Apply leadership engagement strategies to opioid stewardship program development.
  3. Apply methodology of an emergency department opioid stewardship program to an organization.
  4. Construct quality improvement strategies based on opioid stewardship initiative practice examples.
  5. Analyze opioid stewardship team representation, strengths, weaknesses, goals, and communication to identify opportunities for improvement.
  6. Design a clinical pharmacy practice model that incorporates opioid stewardship foundational components.

Learning Activity

ACPE Number

Contact Hours

Introduction and Goals



Executive Leadership Support



Opioid Stewardship Program Development and Implementation



Policy and Advocacy



Performance Metric Identification and Measurement



Use and Integration of Technology and Training



Healthcare Team Education and Training



Patient Care: Optimizing Safe Opioid Prescribing and Pain Management Practices



Patient Care: Pharmacist Practitioner Roles in Pain Management and Opioid Safety



Patient and Family/Caregiver Education and Engagement and Community Outreach

0204-0000-21-776-H08-P 2

Strong Practice Successes

0204-0000-21-777-H08-P 3

  →  Final Assessment (80% passing score required)

Stephaine Abel, Pharm.D., BCPS
Opioid Stewardship Program Coordinator
University of Kentucky HealthCare
Lexington, Kentucky

Elizabeth Bentley, Pharm.D., M.S.J., BCPS
Director, Clinical Pharmacy Services
Kaiser Permanente Northwest Region
Portland, Oregon

Marisa Brizzi, Pharm.D., AAHIVP, BCPS
Pain Stewardship Clinical Pharmacist
UC Health
Cincinnati, Ohio

Melissa L.D. Christopher, Pharm.D.
Associate Chief Consultant, Pharmacy Benefits Management Service
National Director, VA PBM Academic Detailing Service
Department of Veterans Affairs
Veterans Health Administration
Washington, DC

Rachael W. Duncan, Pharm.D., BCCCP, BCPS
Clinical Pharmacist
Swedish Medical Center, HealthONE
Englewood, Colorado

Mighty Fine, M.P.A., CHES
Director, Center for Public Health Practice and Professional Development
American Public Health Association
Washington, DC

Virginia Ghafoor, Pharm.D., M.B.A.
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Pain Management
University of Minnesota Medical Center
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Amanda Hays, Pharm.D., M.H.A., BCPS, CPHQ, DPLA
Director, Medication Safety and Effectiveness
BJC HealthCare
St. Louis, Missouri

Julie Himstreet, Pharm.D., BCPS
National Clinical Program Manager
VA PBM Academic Detailing Service
Department of Veterans Affairs
Washington, DC

Dara Johnson, Pharm.D., BCACP, BCPP
Clinical Coordinator
PGY-2 AMB Care Residency Program Director
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist – Milwaukie FM
OSU/OHSU Affiliate Faculty
Providence Medical Group
Portland, Oregon

Terri Jorgenson, R.Ph., BCPS
National Program Manager
Clinical Pharmacy Practice Integration and Model Advancement
VHA PBM Clinical Pharmacy Practice Office
Department of Veterans Affairs
Washington, DC

Hesham Mourad, Pharm.D., BCCCP, BCPS, CPHIMS
Medication Management Informaticist
Mayo Clinic
Assistant Professor of Pharmacy
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
Jacksonville, Florida

Elsie Rizk, Pharm.D.
Pharmacy Administrative Specialist in Clinical Research
Houston Methodist Hospital
Houston, Texas

Julie Waldfogel, Pharm.D., BCGP
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Pain Management and Palliative Care
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, Maryland

In accordance with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education’s Standards for Commercial Support and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education’s Standards for Commercial Support, anyone in a position to control the content of an educational activity is required to disclose to the accredited provider their financial relationships with commercial entities. An individual has a relevant financial relationship if he or she (or spouse/domestic partner) has a financial relationship in any amount occurring in the past 12 months with a commercial interest whose products or services are discussed in the activity content over which the individual has control.

As defined by ACCME, a commercial entity is any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients. The Standards for Commercial Support do not consider providers of clinical service directly to patients to be commercial interests. The existence or non-existence of relevant financial relationships will be disclosed to the activity audience.

ASHP staff, planners, faculty, reviewers, and subject matter experts report no financial relationships relevant to this activity.

This online activity consists of a combined total of 11 learning modules. Pharmacists are eligible to receive a total of 22 hours of continuing education credit by completing all 11 modules within this certificate.

Participants must participate in the entire activity, and complete the evaluation and all required components to claim continuing pharmacy education credit online at ASHP Learning Center. Follow the prompts to claim credit and view your statement of credit within 60 days after completing the activity.

Important Note – ACPE 60-Day Deadline:

Per ACPE requirements, CPE credit must be claimed within 60 days of being earned – no exceptions! 

To verify that you have completed the required steps and to ensure your credits have been reported to CPE Monitor, we encourage you to check your NABP eProfile account to validate your credits were transferred successfully before the ACPE 60-day deadline. After the 60-day deadline, ASHP will no longer be able to award credit for this activity.