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Michigan OPEN

OPEN’s Educational Materials Hit 5,000 Downloads since 2020

Mar 2, 2023

In January 2023, OPEN hit a substantial milestone for downloads of our educational materials. OPEN has officially reached 5,000 downloads since 2020. Our educational materials are an important resource we provide to both patients and providers.

“With these materials, everyone has the opportunity to learn about pain management. We’re their biggest advocate, so we are making sure they have all the information for opioids, over the counter, and non-medication techniques, not just for the adult population but for pediatrics as well,” said Emily McKanna, MPH, a program coordinator with OPEN.

When gathering resources and references to create our educational materials, OPEN collaborates with other organizations in our community to ensure the information we are presenting is relevant and accurate. “Community involvement is essential,” said McKanna, who manages OPEN’s portfolio of educational materials. Once we are finished crafting a new resource, we work with our partners to translate these materials to Spanish and Arabic.

OPEN’s materials are updated and reviewed yearly to ensure we are sharing the most up-to-date information and best practice resources to our communities. “We’re making these materials easy to follow and understand,” said McKanna. Each year when these materials are reviewed, the OPEN team aims to follow health literacy standards, as well as use non-stigmatizing language. 

One of the most important steps of creating and releasing these educational materials is making sure they get into the hands of the right people. OPEN uses multiple methods of reaching new audiences and spreading awareness. Some of these methods include attending public health conferences across the country, sharing our work on social media and creating widespread social campaigns, as well as collaborating with other professionals in our field.

Our educational materials cover an array of topics and specialties, including pain management after dental surgery and general surgery, safe medication storage and disposal, and non-medication-based pain management tips. These resources have been tailored to both adult and pediatric patients.

Looking at next steps, McKanna hopes to create new materials as more information and research is presented. On top of that, she is hoping to create partnerships and opportunities to collaborate with new organizations. Another milestone OPEN hopes to achieve is adding translations in more languages to reach even more of our community.

At the end of the day, the most important thing about creating materials is making sure people actually get them and can utilize the information. “Knowledge is key to making any positive change. We are making sure we provide the proper resources for medical professionals, patients, and their families. Giving them the starting point to manage their pain is extremely important and helpful, and this way, patients and providers can make conscious and informed pain management decisions that work best for them.”

To find our resources and learn more, click here.