BACKGROUND: Acute postoperative pain is still inadequately managed, despite the presence of acute pain services (APSs). This study aimed to investigate the existence, structure, and responsibilities of Dutch APSs and to review the implementation of the Dutch Hospital Patient Safety Program (DHPSP).
METHODS: Information was gathered by a digital questionnaire, sent to all 96 Dutch hospitals performing surgical procedures.
RESULTS: Completed questionnaires were received from 80 hospitals (83%), of which 90% have an APS. Important duties of the APS are regular patient rounds, checking complex pain techniques (100%), supporting quality improvement of pain management (87%), pain education (100%), and pain research (21%).
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DHPSP: Regular in-hospital pain training is not provided in 46% of the hospitals. Thirteen percent of the hospitals offer no patient information about pain management.
CONCLUSIONS: Almost all hospitals have an APS. They differ in both the way they are locally organized, along with the activities they employ. Future research needs to compare the effect of patient and nonpatient-related activities of APSs on outcomes related to pain management.