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Ridge K. London, England: Crown Copyright; 2021. September 22, 2021.

Overprescribing has attained prominence as a safety issue due to the current opioid epidemic, but it has long reduced medication safety across the spectrum of health care. The report examines the systemic and cultural issues that contribute to overprescribing and recommends a governmental leadership position to drive change and implement deprescribing and other reduction initiatives.

Issue Brief. Washington DC: Pew Charitable Trust; March 2021.

Antibiotic overuse is a contributor to nosocomial infection. This report discusses problems associated with antibiotic prescribing during the first 6 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Systemic problems arising from the situation include disparities associated with antibiotic administration and unneeded receipt of medications by some patients.

Working Group on Medication Overload. Brookline, MA: Lown Institute; 2020.

Polypharmacy and medication overuse are known contributors to patient harm. This report outlines recommendations for combating medication overload. The recommendations include prescription review, issue awareness, point-of-care information access, training and industry influence reduction as tactics for improvement.
Brownlee S; Garber J. Brookline, MA: Lown Institute; 2019.
Overprescribing is a common problem that contributes to patient harm. This report examines financial, clinical, and societal trends of medication overuse and inappropriate polypharmacy in older Americans. A culture of prescribing, deficits in information and knowledge, and fragmented care contribute to the problem. The report provides interventions to improve the safety of prescribing, including developing deprescribing guidelines, raising awareness among providers and patients about medication overload, and implementing team-based care models.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Paris, France: OECD Publishing; 2019. ISBN: 978926474260.
The overprescribing of prescription opioids heightens the likelihood of opioid dependence and harm. This report shares data from 25 countries to provide a baseline for the current crisis. The publication illustrates the complexity of the opioid epidemic and suggests that system-focused multisector strategies are required to address the problem.
National Quality Partners. Washington, DC: National Quality Forum; 2016.
Antimicrobial stewardship has been promoted as a strategy to improve patient safety by reducing overuse of antibiotics to prevent hospital-acquired infections. This report draws from the experience of existing programs to summarize practical strategies for implementing initiatives. Core elements include engaging leadership, monitoring effectiveness, and reporting benchmarks.
Tenner E. New York, NY: Knopf; 1996. ISBN: 0679425632.
Tenner’s discussions of medical and nonmedical examples provide an engaging introduction to the many ways in which new technologies can have unintended consequences. Side effects of any technology are well known and well studied. What interests Tenner, however, are “revenge effects,” which he defines as the exact opposite of the intended effects of a new technology. For instance, the widespread availability of computers in offices and homes was heralded as ushering in a new, paperless world. Instead, paper use sky-rocketed. From a safety perspective, numerous examples exist in which making something safer simply encouraged more reckless behavior. Health care examples often involve a safer version of a drug or procedure, which then becomes overused. At the population level, then, adverse events do not decrease and may even increase. For instance, laparoscopic cholecystectomy is a much less morbid procedure than open cholecystectomy. It is this feature of the laparoscopic procedure that resulted in a significant increase in the number of patients referred for removal of their gallbladder, to the point that morbidity and mortality at the population level did not improve as a result of this major advance in surgical technology.