Errors in palliative care: kinds, causes, and consequences: a pilot survey of experiences and attitudes of palliative care professionals.
Patients receiving palliative care can be medically complex and often require medications considered high-risk (such as opioid pain medications). These factors are known to be associated with an increased risk of medical errors, but thus far, few studies have examined patient safety risks in palliative care patients. This survey of palliative medicine physicians in Germany found that most considered errors to be a significant problem in palliative care, and respondents cited medication errors and errors related to communication as the most common types of patient safety problems in the field. An AHRQ WebM&M case discusses a preventable adverse event that occurred in a palliative care patient.