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Siebert JN, Bloudeau L, Combescure C, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(8):e2123007.
Medication errors are common in pediatric patients who require care from emergency medical services. This randomized trial measured the impact of a mobile app in reducing medication errors during simulated pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest scenarios. Advanced paramedics were exposed to a standardized video simulation of an 18-month of child with cardiac arrest and tested on sequential preparations of intravenous emergency drugs of varying degrees of difficulty with or without mobile app support. Compared with conventional drug preparation methods, use of the mobile app significantly decreased the rate of medication errors and time to drug delivery.
Davidson JE, Chechel L, Chavez J, et al. Am J Crit Care. 2021;30(5):375-384.
Nurses play a critical role in ensuring patient safety. Following the Joint Commission’s revised standards for titration of continuous intravenous medications, 730 nurses were surveyed about their experiences. Based on 159 comments, two overarching themes were identified: harms (e.g., erosion of workplace wellness, moral dilemma, patient safety) and professionalism (e.g., autonomy, nurse proficiency).
Hoyle JD, Ekblad G, Woodwyk A, et al. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2021:1-8.
Inaccurate assessment of pediatric patient weight can lead to medication dosing errors. In simulated pediatric scenarios, pre-hospital emergency medical services (EMS) crews obtained patient weight using one or more of three methods: asking parent, using patient age, and Broselow-Luten Tape (BLT). BLT was the most frequent method used and patient age resulted in the most frequent dosing errors. Systems-based solutions are presented.
Wei W, Coffey W, Adeola M, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2021;Epub Jul 15.
Smart pumps can improve medication safety, but barriers such as workarounds and alert fatigue can limit their effectiveness. After implementing smart pumps with an electronic health record (EHR) system, this community hospital saw increased drug library compliance and fewer infusions generating alerts.
Lopez-Pineda A, Gonzalez de Dios J, Guilabert Mora M, et al. Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2021:1-11.
Medication administration errors made by parent or caregivers can result in medication errors at home. This systematic review found that 30% to 80% of pediatric patients experience a medication error at home, and that the risk increases based on characteristics of the caregiver and if a prescription contains more than two drugs.
Mulac A, Mathiesen L, Taxis K, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;Epub Jul 22.
Barcode medication administration (BCMA) is a mechanism to prevent adverse medication events, but unintended consequences have also been reported when BCMA is not used appropriately. Researchers observed nurses administering medications and identified task-related, organizational, technological, environmental, and nurse-related BCMA policy deviations. Researchers provide several strategies for hospitals wishing to implement or improve BCMA systems.
Jaam M, Naseralallah LM, Hussain TA, et al. PLOS ONE. 2021;16(6):e0253588.
Including pharmacists can improve patient safety across the medication prescribing continuum. This review identified twelve pharmacist-led educational interventions aimed at improving medication safety. The phase, educational strategy, patient population, and audience varied across studies; however most showed some reductions in medication errors.

Koeck JA, Young NJ, Kontny U, et al. Paediatr Drugs. Epub 2021 May 8. 

Pediatric patients are at risk for medication prescribing errors due to weight-based dosing. This review analyzed 70 interventions aimed at reducing weight-based prescribing errors. Findings indicate that bundled interventions are most effective, and that interventions should include substitute or engineering controls (e.g., computerized provider order entry) along with administrative controls (e.g., expert consultation).
Norris B, Soncrant C, Mills PD, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47(8):489-495.
Opioid misuse and overdose continues to be a patient safety concern. This study conducted root cause analyses of 82 adverse event reports involving opioid use at the Veterans Health Administration. The most frequent event type was medication administration error and the most frequent root cause was staff not following hospital policies or hospitals not having opioid-related policies. 
Murphy A, Griffiths P, Duffield C, et al. J Adv Nurs. 2021;77(8):3379-3388.
Some adverse events are sensitive to aspects of nursing care, including pressure injuries, falls, hospital-acquired urinary tract infections, and medication administration errors. This retrospective study, based on patient discharge data from three Irish hospitals, characterized nursing-sensitive adverse events and associated costs. Results indicate that 16% of patients experienced at least one nurse-sensitive adverse event during their inpatient stay and that each additional nurse-sensitive adverse event was associated with a significant increase in length of stay. Extrapolated nationally, the authors estimate the economic burden of nurse-sensitive adverse events to the Irish health system to be €91.3 million annually.
Aldila F, Walpola RL. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2021;Epub Apr 4.
Older adults are at increased risk of medicine self-administration errors (MSEs) due to polypharmacy, cognitive decline, and decline in physical abilities. In this review, incorrect dosing was the most common MSE; the most common factor influencing the errors is complex medication regimens due to the need for multiple medications. Additional research is needed into how community pharmacists can assist older adults at risk of MSE.

A 64-year-old woman was admitted to the hospital for aortic valve replacement and aortic aneurysm repair. Following surgery, she became hypotensive and was given intravenous fluid boluses and vasopressor support with norepinephrine. On postoperative day 2, a fluid bolus was ordered; however, the fluid bag was attached to the IV line that had the vasopressor at a Y-site and the bolus was initiated.

Ekkens CL, Gordon PA. Holist Nurs Pract. 2021;35(3):115-122.
Despite system-level interventions, medication administration errors (MAE) continue to occur. Nurses at an American hospital were trained in mindful thinking in an effort to reduce MAE. After three months, nurses who received the mindfulness training had fewer medication errors, and less severe errors, than nurses who did not receive the training. Mindful thinking was effective at reducing medication administration errors and the authors recommend trainings be part of nurses’ orientation and continuing education.

Parry C. The Pharmaceutical JournalApril 22 2021.

Weight-based prescribing in children harbors challenges to accurate medication dosing. This story discusses an examination of factors contributing to ten-fold medication errors in pediatric care. The author summarizes an ongoing investigation which has identified polypharmacy and information system weaknesses as being among the contributors to the problem.
Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47(6):394-397.
Smart infusions pumps with built-in dose error reduction software (DERS) are designed to protect against dosing errors that result in patient harm. This alert summarizes recommendations to enhance the effective implementation and use of smart infusion pumps such as drug library maintenance and pump error report monitoring.
Carvalho IV, Sousa VM de, Visacri MB, et al. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2021;37(4):e152-e158.
This study sought to determine the rate of pediatric emergency department (ED) visits due to adverse drug events (ADE). Of 1,708 pediatric patients, 12.3% were admitted to the ED due to ADEs, with the highest rates of admission due to neurological, dermatological, and respiratory medications. The authors recommend the involvement of clinical pharmacists to prevent and identify ADEs in the pediatric population, particularly through education of children’s caregivers and health professionals.
Küng K, Aeschbacher K, Rütsche A, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2021;33(1).
Barcode medication administration (BCMA) systems are one strategy to reduce medication administration time and preparation errors. This study sought to assess the influence of BCMA on the rate of medication preparation errors and time spent by registered nurses on medication preparation tasks. Use of BCMA decreased wrong medication and wrong dosage errors, and wrong patient, wrong form, and ambiguous dispenser errors did not occur post-intervention. Additionally, BCMA decreased medication preparation time.
Geller AI, Conrad AO, Weidle NJ, et al. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2021;30(5):573-581.
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) classifies insulin as a high-risk medication. This study examines insulin mix-up errors that resulted in emergency department visits or other serious adverse events. Most cases of medication mix-up involved rapid-acting insulin. Recommended prevention strategies include increased patient education and human factors engineering.