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The medication-use process is highly complex with many steps and risk points for error, and those errors are a key target for improving safety. This Library reflects a curated selection of PSNet content focused on medication and drug errors. Included resources explore understanding harms from preventable medication use, medication safety improvement strategies, and resources for design.

Demiris G, Lin S-Y, Turner AM. Stud Health Technol Inform . 2019;264:1159-1163.
Patient safety in the home has not been well defined and there have been few studies of this setting. This study examines the concept of patient safety in the home and identifies personal health information management tools to support and maximize patient safety in the home. The study findings demonstrate the physical, emotional, social and functional dimensions of patient safety in the home and ways for informatics tools to maximize safety aspects.
Efforts to engage patients in safety efforts have focused on three areas: enlisting patients in detecting adverse events, empowering patients to ensure safe care, and emphasizing patient involvement as a means of improving the culture of safety.
Dickson EJ. Rolling Stone. March 9, 2019.
Unintended consequences of restrictions enacted to combat the opioid crisis are a concern for patients and prescribers. This magazine article reports on an effort to raise awareness of the potential for patient harm due to lack of legitimate access to opioids for chronic pain as a result of the 2016 CDC opioid prescribing guidelines.
Khan A, Spector ND, Baird JD, et al. BMJ. 2018;363:k4764.
Patient engagement in safety takes many forms: patients may report unique safety incidents, encourage adherence to best medical practice, and coproduce improvement initiatives. Family-centered rounding in pediatrics invites families to express concerns, clarify information, and provide real-time input to the health care team. This pre–post study explored the safety impact of family-centered rounds on 3106 admissions in pediatric units at 7 hospitals. Family-centered rounds reduced both preventable and nonpreventable adverse events. They also improved family experience without substantially lengthening rounding time. A past PSNet interview discussed the safety benefits of structured communication between health care providers and family members.
Headley M.
Health care workers face high levels of stress and production pressures, which can contribute to clinician burnout and diminish the safety of care delivery. This commentary describes stressors that affect the psychological health of clinicians, the importance of establishing an organizational culture that supports clinicians, and proactive ways to build clinician resilience in various stressful circumstances.
Parand A, Garfield S, Vincent C, et al. PLoS One. 2016;11(12):e0167204.
Medication administration errors have been studied primarily in the hospital environment. Less is known about the types of errors that may occur in the home setting and the role caregivers play in this context. This narrative systematic review found caregiver medication administration error rates ranging from 1.9% to 33% of all medications administered, highlighting a potential threat to patient safety.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; September 2016. AHRQ Publication No. 16-0035-2-EF.
Patient safety in ambulatory care is receiving increased attention. This guide includes case studies that explore how Open Notes, team-based care delivery, and patient and family advisory committees have shown promise as patient engagement and safety improvement mechanisms in primary care settings.
Jackson PD, Biggins MS, Cowan L, et al. Rehabil Nurs. 2016;41:135-48.
Transitions are a complicated and vulnerable time for patients, particularly for those with complex care needs. This review examines the literature around care transitions and insights from patient and family advisory councils. The authors recommend standardizing the process for veterans with complex conditions and suggest focus on the use of real-time information exchange, documented care plans, and engaging patients and their families in transitions.
Wachenheim D. Patient Saf Qual Healthc. December 8, 2015.
Patient and family advisory councils are considered valuable method to help hospitals develop patient-centered safety strategies. In 2008, Massachusetts mandated that every hospital should have such a council in place. This magazine article discusses the 5-year evolution of the strategy and reveals insights regarding how states and organizations can learn from the Massachusetts experience to support wide-scale implementation of patient and family advisory councils.
Dr. Kronick has served as director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality since August 2013, and will be stepping down from the role this month. We spoke with him about AHRQ's efforts to develop measurements and implement improvements in patient safety.
Hovey RB, Dvorak ML, Burton T, et al. Qual Health Res. 2011;21:662-72.
This article reports on the perspectives of patients and families who have experienced medical errors, and attempts to redefine the concept of patient-centered care with their experiences in mind.