Integrated Pain Management

Developing, testing, and spreading a whole-person approach to managing chronic pain

The LHS Program is partnering with patients, care teams, and clinical leaders at Kaiser Permanente Washington to design a patient-centered Integrated Pain Management (IPM) program. The goal is to improve quality of life, functioning, and overall health and well-being for people with chronic pain by providing safe alternatives to opioids and increasing the use of evidence-based, non-pharmacologic treatments.  

Our specific objectives for the IPM program are to:

  • Design a scalable primary care-based pain management approach to improve care for people with chronic pain and improve opioid safety.
  • Implement and evaluate the approach in partnership with select medical centers.
  • Use our findings to spread successful components of the program across Kaiser Permanente Washington.

Key components of the LHS Program's ongoing work include:

  • Developing a change package that incorporates the latest evidence on effective chronic pain management treatments and the experiences of care teams and members. 
  • Working as practice facilitators alongside care teams in our pilot clinics to identify priorities and develop workflows to support safe and effective care for people with chronic pain.
  • Establishing and collaborating with a group of patient partners who are advising us on the components of the IPM program and serving as co-designers as we develop new resources for patients. Learn more in this recent blog by IPM team member Sarah Brush: 5 lessons from co-designing with patient partners.
  • Support our care delivery partners in moving great frontline ideas into reality—such as a new pain management skills group for patients developed by the integrated mental health social worker at one of our pilot clinics. Learn more about how this work came to life.
  • Adapting all the elements of our pilot—practice facilitation, patient engagement, the skills group, etc.—to virtual after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and incorporating virtual care options into pain management workflows.
  • Measuring outcomes and adjusting the process as we go. The lessons we learn in Tahoma and Spokane will help guide our efforts across other districts.



Engaging patient partners

Sarah Brush

5 lessons from co-designing with patient partners

Sarah Brush shares insights on engaging KP members in a Learning Health System project to revamp chronic pain care. Healthy Findings, January 2021.