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.
Opioid misuse is an urgent patient safety issue, including postsurgical opioid misuse among pediatric patients. Based on the systematic review, a multidisciplinary group of health care and opioid stewardship experts proposes evidence-based opioid prescribing guidelines for children who need surgery. Endorsed guideline statements highlight three primary themes for perioperative pain management in children: (1) health care professionals must recognize the risks of pediatric opioid misuse, (2) use non-opioid pain relief, and (3) pre- and post-operative education for patients and families regarding pain management and safe opioid use.
This piece highlights the value of a medication safety leader in guiding error prevention efforts and outlines the responsibilities of such a role. Areas of focus include leadership, medication safety expertise, change management, research and education.
Bickham P, Golembiewski J, Meyer T, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2019;76:903-820.
Pharmacists working with surgical teams bring distinct safety context, expertise, and process awareness to perioperative care. These guidelines outline how pharmacists can help reduce medication errors before, during, and after surgery. Perioperative pharmacists can enhance communication, medication histories, and process reliability.
Billstein-Leber M, Carrillo CJD, Cassano AT, et al. Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 2018;75:1493-1517.
Pharmacists can play an important role in medication error reduction efforts across health care systems. This document provides recommendations and best practices for health-system pharmacists to improve safety throughout the medication-use process.
Administration of parental nutrition is a specialized process that requires distinct competencies to be safe. This guideline recommends standardized competencies for clinicians to develop and maintain to ensure safe and reliable administration of parenteral nutrition therapy in various care environments and team configurations.
Gelb AW, Morriss WW, Johnson W, et al. Anesth Analg. 2018;126:2047-2055.
Safe anesthesia is a global concern. These standards provide guidance and recommendations for clinicians, administrators, and governments as they review, implement, and manage anesthesia services in a variety of care environments. The standards center on themes related to professional qualification; facilities and equipment; medications and intravenous fluids; monitoring; and anesthesia delivery.
Benjamin L, Frush K, Shaw K, et al. Ann Emerg Med. 2018;71:e17-e24.
Emergency departments harbor conditions that can hinder safe medication administration for pediatric patients. This policy statement identifies and prioritizes improvements such as implementing kilogram-only weight-based dosing, involving pharmacists in frontline emergency care, and utilizing computerized provider order entry and clinical decision support systems.
Belderson KM, Billett AL. J Oncol Pract. 2017;64:e26484.
Administration errors involving chemotherapeutic agents can result in patient harm. This set of standards provides guidance to help ensure reliable use of these high-alert medications for both adult and pediatric patients. Components of the revised standards are expanded to include two-person verification, vinca alkaloid mini-bag administration, and labeling enhancements for home-based chemotherapy.
Guenter P, Boullata JI, Ayers P, et al. Nutr Clin Pract. 2015;30:570-6.
Parenteral nutrition has the potential to result in patient harm if administered or prepared incorrectly. This commentary builds on a set of overarching recommendations to define competencies that enable the safe prescribing and delivery of parenteral nutrition. The model is designed to help organizations apply the suggestions in their particular care environments.
Goldspiel B, Hoffman JM, Griffith NL, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2015;72:e6-e35.
The American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists developed these guidelines to apply medication safety best practices to the delivery of chemotherapy and biotherapy agents. These recommendations include sets of specific actions for the overall health care system and for frontline providers.
Nutescu EA, Wittkowsky AK, Burnett A, et al. Ann Pharmacother. 2013;47:714-24.
Anticoagulant medications are considered among the highest-risk medications in common use, due to the potential for serious bleeding complications if medication errors occur. As a result, ensuring anticoagulant safety is one of the National Patient Safety Goals. This consensus statement provides guidelines for developing safer systems for the appropriate prescribing, administration, and monitoring of anticoagulant drugs in the hospital setting, as well as for minimizing adverse events after hospital discharge in patients receiving these medications. A serious medication error due to incorrect dosing of warfarin is discussed in an AHRQ WebM&M commentary.
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