Try the newly designed PSNet website! Learn More
PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Emergency hospitalizations for adverse drug events in older Americans.

Budnitz DS, Lovegrove MC, Shehab N, et al. New Engl J Med. 2011;365(21):2002-2012.

Partnership for Patients set an ambitious goal to reduce preventable readmissions by 20% in 2013. Adverse drug events contribute significantly to undesired outcomes and provide an ongoing area for prevention strategies. This study used a national surveillance database and examined nearly 100,000 emergency hospitalizations attributed to adverse drug events in elderly patients between 2007 and 2009. Investigators found that nearly half the hospitalizations were in adults older than 80 years and two-thirds were due to unintentional overdoses. The most common medications implicated were warfarin, insulin, oral antiplatelet agents, and oral hypoglycemic agents. The authors suggest that targeted strategies to minimize risk associated with these high-risk medications may reduce preventable hospitalizations in older adults.