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Sharma AE, Huang B, Del Rosario JB, et al. BMJ Open Qual. 2021;10:e001421.
Patients and caregivers play an essential role in safe ambulatory care. This mixed-methods analysis of ambulatory safety reports identified three themes related to patient and caregivers factors contributing to events – (1) clinical advice conflicting with patient priorities, (2) breakdowns in communication and patient education contributing to medication adverse events, and (3) the fact that patients with disabilities are vulnerable to due to the external environment.  
Townsend T, Cerdá M, Bohnert AS, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2021;40:1766-1775.
Misuse of prescription opioids represents a serious patient safety issue. Using commercial claims from 2014 - 2018, researchers examined the association between the 2016 CDC guidelines to reduce unsafe opioid prescribing and opioid dispensing for patients with four common chronic pain diagnoses. Findings indicate that the release of the 2016 guidelines was associated with reductions in the percentage of patients receiving opioids, average dose prescribed, percentage receiving high-dose prescriptions, number of days supplied, and the percentage of patients receiving concurrent opioid/benzodiazepine prescriptions. The authors observe that questions remain about how clinicians are tailoring opioid reductions using a patient-centered approach.

Deprescribing is an intervention used to reduce the risk of adverse drug events (ADEs) that can result from polypharmacy. It is the process of supervised medication discontinuation or dose reduction to reduce potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) use.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. October 7, 2021;26(20):1-4.

Production pressure and low staff coverage can result in medication mistakes in community pharmacies. This article shares reported vaccine errors and factors contributing to mistaken administration of flu and COVID vaccines. Storage, staffing and collaboration strategies are shared to protect against vaccine mistakes.
Khawagi WY, Steinke DT, Carr MJ, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:364-378.
Patient safety indicators (PSIs) can be used to identify potential patient safety hazards. Researchers used the Clinical Practice Research Datalink GOLD database to examine prevalence, variation, and patient- and practice-level risk factors for 22 mental health-related PSIs for medication prescribing and monitoring in primary care. The authors found that potentially inappropriate prescribing and inadequate medication monitoring commonly affected patients with mental illness in primary care.
Watterson TL, Stone JA, Brown RL, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021;28:1526-1533.
Prior research has found that ambulatory electronic health records cannot communicate medication discontinuation instructions to pharmacies. In this study, the implementation of the CancelRx system led to a significant, sustained increase in successful medication discontinuations and reduced the time between medication discontinuation in the clinic EHR and pharmacy dispensing software.
Chua K-P, Brummett CM, Conti RM, et al. Pediatrics. 2021;148:e2021051539.
Despite public policies and guidelines to reduce opioid prescribing, providers continue to overprescribe these medications to children, adolescents, and young adults. In this analysis of US retail pharmacy data, 3.5% of US children and young adults were dispensed at least one opioid prescription; nearly half of those included at least one factor indicating they were high risk. Consistent with prior research, dentists and surgeons were the most frequent prescribers, writing 61% of all opiate prescriptions.
Pinheiro LC, Reshetnyak E, Safford MM, et al. Med Care. 2021;59:901-906.
Prior research has found that racial/ethnic minorities may be at higher risk for adverse patient safety outcomes. This study evaluated racial disparities in self-reported adverse events based on cross-sectional survey data collected as part of a national, prospective cohort evaluating stroke mortality. Findings show that Black participants were significantly more likely to report a preventable adverse event attributable to poor care coordination (e.g., drug-drug interaction, emergency department visitor, or hospitalization) compared to White participants.
Agnoli A, Xing G, Tancredi DJ, et al. JAMA. 2021;326:411-419.
Sudden discontinuation of opioids has been linked to increased patient harm. This observational study evaluated the link between tapering and overdose, and mental health crisis among patients who were receiving long-term opioid therapy. Patients who underwent dose tapering had an increased risk of overdose and mental health crisis compared to those who did not undergo dose tapering. 

Szalavitz M. Wired Magazine. August 11, 2021. 

The opioid epidemic has contributed to uncertainties for pain management patients that result in harm. This article discusses how an endometriosis patient was unable to get prescriptions to manage her pain due to misinformation generated through screening tools designed to identify opioid misuse and inform prescribing decisions.
Bryant J, Carey M, Sanson-Fisher R, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e387-e392.
When an error or adverse event occurs, patients and families want to be informed. In this study of oncology patients, more than one quarter perceived an adverse event had occurred. While most were informed soon after the event occurred and given an explanation, fewer than half were given information on how to move forward with a complaint if they wished. Regular communication between patients and providers about actual or perceived adverse events may decrease the risk of it happening again.
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.
Galanter W, Eguale T, Gellad WF, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4:e2117038.
One element of conservative prescribing is minimizing the number of medications prescribed. This study compared the number of unique, newly prescribed medications (personal formularies) of primary care physicians across four health systems. Results indicated wide variability in the number of unique medications at the physician and institution levels. Further exploration of personal formularies and core drugs may illuminate opportunities for safer and more appropriate prescribing.

Taylor K. American Nurse J. 2021;16(7):14-17.

Medication reconciliation reduces the potential for problems in complicated medication regimens. This article shares strategies for reconciling medications for older patients in the home to ensure their medication use is safe and appropriate.
Khan NF, Booth HP, Myles P, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21.
This study assessed how and when quality improvement (QI) feedback reports on prescribing safety are used in one general practice in the UK. Four themes were identified: receiving the report, facilitators and barriers to acting upon the report, acting upon the report, and how the report contributes to a quality culture. Facilitators included effective dissemination of reports while barriers included lack of time to act upon the reports. As most practitioners indicated the QI reports were useful, efforts should be made to address barriers to acting upon the reports.
Adams KT, Pruitt Z, Kazi S, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e988-e994.
It is important to consider unintended consequences when implementing new tools, such as health information technology (HIT). This study reviewed 2,700 patient safety event reports to identify the type of medication error, the stage in the process in which the error occurred, and how HIT usability issues contributed to the errors. Errors in dosing were the most frequent type, and occurred during ordering or reviewing. Most errors described usability issues which should be considered and addressed to improve medication safety.
Oberlander T, Scholle SH, Marsteller JA, et al. J Healthc Qual. 2021;43:324-339.
The goal of the patient centered medical home (PCMH)  model is to reorganize primary care to provide team-based, coordinated, accessible health care. This study used a consensus process with input from a physician panel to examine ambulatory patient safety concerns (e.g., medication safety, diagnostic error, treatment delays, communication or coordination errors) in the context of the PCMH model and explore variability in the implementation of patient safety practices.
Green AR, Aschmann H, Boyd CM, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4:e212633.
Effective communication between patient and provider is key to successful deprescribing.  Participants in this study were asked to rate potential phrases a clinician may use to explain why stopping or reducing a medication is important. The most preferred phrase involved an explanation of risk of side effects associated with the medications while the least preferred options focused on the effort involved in taking the medication and “this medication is unlikely to help you function better”. Understanding the patient’s priorities can help frame the conversation around deprescribing.