The AHRQ PSNet Collection comprises an extensive selection of resources relevant to the patient safety community. These resources come in a variety of formats, including literature, research, tools, and Web sites. Resources are identified using the National Library of Medicine’s Medline database, various news and content aggregators, and the expertise of the AHRQ PSNet editorial and technical teams.
A 74-year-old male with a history of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure with an EF of 45%, stage I chronic kidney disease and gout presented for a total hip replacement.
Rebello E, Kee S, Kowalski A, et al. Health Informatics J. 2016;22:1055-1062.
This electronic audit study examined the incidence of opening and charting in the wrong patient record in the perioperative period. Investigators observed that this error declined over time. They attribute this improvement to time-out procedures and barcoding, both of which facilitate patient identification.
ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition. October 23, 2014;19:1-5.
Improper insulin pen use is a persistent problem. This newsletter article reveals the lessons learned from one hospital that implemented best practices including robust education, bar-code scanning, bedside electronic medication administration records, and alerts to prevent incorrect administration but continued to experience errors related to insulin pen use.
Trbovich PL, Pinkney S, Cafazzo JA, et al. Qual Saf Health Care. 2010;19:430-4.
Errors at the administration stage are common for intravenous medications. Programmable or smart infusion pumps are widely used as a means of preventing such errors. However, prior studies have found that smart pumps alone may not significantly reduce errors, as they do not eliminate wrong-patient errors and may be prone to workarounds. This study compared three types of pumps—traditional pumps, smart pumps, and smart pumps combined with bar-code technology—in a simulated inpatient unit. The results indicate that smart pumps may reduce administration errors when combined with bar-coding or when only "hard" (unchangeable) dosing limits are used. Ultimately, creation of a "closed-loop" system that integrates technological solutions to prescription and administration errors represents the optimal solution for eliminating medication errors.
Orthopedic surgeons rounding on an elderly Cantonese-speaking woman recommend conservative, nonsurgical treatment for her broken hip, as their examination noted that the patient was able to walk. Given that strict bed rest orders were in place for this patient, a medical intern found the note peculiar. Further investigation revealed that the surgeons had actually walked the patient's roommate, another Cantonese-speaking woman.
Eric G. Poon, MD, MPH, is Director of Clinical Informatics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Poon’s research has focused on using health information technology to improve patient safety. He oversees the development and implementation of clinical applications including computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and barcode-assisted electronic medication administration record, and was lead author on the first rigorous study demonstrating the impact of a bar coding system in a hospital pharmacy.
Franklin BD, O'Grady K, Donyai P, et al. Qual Saf Health Care. 2007;16:279-84.
Measures that have been proposed to reduce the incidence of medication errors target prescribing safety (e.g., computerized provider order entry) or safety in administering medications (e.g., bar coding or automated dispensing). While each of these individual measures has been shown to decrease errors, as yet few systems "close the loop" by integrating safety measures for prescribing and administering medications. Utilizing an electronic system that incorporated CPOE, automated dispensing, bar coding, and an electronic medication record, this single-institution study demonstrated a significant reduction in both prescribing errors and administration errors. However, staff time spent on medication-related tasks increased. While the study results are promising, one caveat is that the system was not used for high-risk drugs such as anticoagulants or intravenous medications.
Please select your preferred way to submit a case. Note that even if you have an account, you can still choose to submit a case as a guest. And if you do choose to submit as a logged-in user, your name will not be publicly associated with the case. Learn more information here.