Association of Primary Care Clinic Appointment Time With Opioid Prescribing
Is the decision to prescribe opioids associated with appointments that are behind schedule or later in the day compared with earlier or on-time appointments? In this cross-sectional study, opioid prescribing for opioid-naive patients with pain diagnoses was significantly associated with increases as the workday progressed and with appointments that started late, although the effect size was modest. Nonopioid pain treatment orders did not show similar patterns. Appointment timing that contributes to time pressure could be adversely associated with physician decision-making and could have widespread relevance for public health and quality improvement efforts, if similar patterns exist in other clinical scenarios.