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Mirtallo JM, Ayers P. Pharmacy Practice News. September 7, 2021;48(9):17-20.

Parenteral nutrition (PN) processes contain various steps that are prone to errors resulting in patient harm. This article discusses standardization as a strategy to reduce the potential for missteps and shares resources for process evaluation to improve PN reliability and safety.

Thomas K, Gebeloff R, Silver-Greenberg J. New York Times. September 11, 2021.

Nursing home medication misuse is a contributor to resident harm. This story highlights system influences such as staffing shortages, reporting failures and normalization of prescribing behaviors that coincide with the misuse of antipsychotic medications and overdiagnosis of schizophrenia.
Burrus S, Hall M, Tooley E, et al. Pediatrics. 2021;148(3):e2020030346.
Based on analysis of four years of data submitted to the Child Health Patient Safety Organization (CHILDPSO), researchers sought to identify types of serious safety events and contributing factors. Three main groups of serious safety events were identified: patient care management, procedural errors, and product or device errors. Contributing factors included lack of situational awareness, process failures, and failure to communicate effectively.
Stuijt CCM, Bekker CL, van den Bemt BJF, et al. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2021;17(8):1426-1432.
This multicenter prospective study explored the effect of medication reconciliation on patient-reported, potential adverse events post-discharge. Although the intervention – which consisted of a pharmacy team providing patient both education and medication review upon admission and discharge as well as information transfer to primary care – did not decrease the proportion of patients with adverse events, it did reduce the number of potential adverse events.
Watterson TL, Stone JA, Brown RL, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021;28(7):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.
Metersky ML, Eldridge N, Wang Y, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;Epub Aug 14.
The July Effect is a belief that the quality of care delivered in academic medical centers decreases during July and August due to the arrival of new trainees. Using data from the Medicare Patient Safety Monitoring System, this retrospective cohort, including over 185,000 hospital admissions from 2010 to 2017, found that patients admitted to teaching hospitals in July and August did not experience higher rates of adverse events compared to patients admitted to non-teaching hospitals.
Paradissis C, Cottrell N, Coombes ID, et al. Ther Adv Drug Saf. 2021;12:204209862110274.
Adverse drug events are a common source of harm in both inpatient and ambulatory patients. This narrative review of 75 studies concluded that cardiovascular medications are a leading cause of medication harm across different clinical settings, and that older adults are at increased risk. Medications to treat high blood pressure and arrhythmias were the most common cause of medication harm.
Urquhart A, Yardley S, Thomas E, et al. J R Soc Med. 2021;Epub Aug 4.
This mixed-methods study analyzed patient safety incident reports between 2005-2015 to characterize the most frequently reported incidents resulting in severe harm or death in acute medical units. Of the 377 included reports, diagnostic errors, medication-related errors, and failure to monitor patient incidents were most common. Patients were at highest risk during handoffs and transitions of care. Lack of active decision-making during admission and communication failures were the most common contributors to incidents.
Hernández-Prats C, López-Pintor E, Lumbreras B. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2021;Epub Jul 12.
Clinical pharmacists play an important role in ensuring patient safety, particularly in interventions aimed at reducing polypharmacy. This review focused on interventions involving pharmacists to reduce polypharmacy and inappropriate medications for patients with heart failure. Findings indicate interventions are most successful when specific guidelines or recommendations to assess appropriate prescribing of heart failure medications are followed.
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.
Zaidi AS, Peterson GM, Bereznicki LRE, et al. Ann Pharmacother. 2021;55(4):530-542.
Prior research has found that polypharmacy among elderly patients with dementia is associated with greater risk of functional decline. This meta-analysis of five studies concluded that exposure to potentially inappropriate medications (PIM) was not associated with either mortality or hospitalization for patients with cognitive impairment.

Allen LV, Jr. Int J Pharm Compd. 2021;25:131-139; 222-229.

Intravenous admixture compounding is a complex activity that harbors risks for patients and health care staff.  This two-part series reviews the types of errors that compromise the safety of compounding practices, steps in the process where they occur and prevention tactics.
Killin L, Hezam A, Anderson KK, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021;47(7):438-451.
Medication errors at hospital discharge are a common cause of medication errors and adverse drug events (ADE). This review compared three types of discharge medication reconciliation: paper-based, electronic, and enhanced. Results suggest electronic medication reconciliation reduced the odds of a medication discrepancy or ADE, as compared to paper-based. Results were mixed on enhanced medication reconciliation.
Mangory KY, Ali LY, Rø KI, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21(1):369.
Burnout may adversely affect patient safety and clinician wellness. This review of studies using the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) found that only four of 11 studies found an association between clinician burnout and observed adverse patient care. The authors recommend further research into the association of burnout and patient safety using the MBI.
Hada A, Coyer F. Nurs Health Sci. 2021;23(2):337-351.
Safe patient handover from one nursing shift to the next requires complete and accurate communication between nurses. This review aimed to identify which nursing handover interventions result in improved patient outcomes (i.e., patient falls, pressure injuries, medication administration errors). Interventions differed across the included studies, but results indicate that moving the handover to the bedside and using a structured approach, such as Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation (SBAR) improved patient outcomes.

A 64-year-old woman was admitted to the hospital for aortic valve replacement and aortic aneurysm repair. Following surgery, she became hypotensive and was given intravenous fluid boluses and vasopressor support with norepinephrine. On postoperative day 2, a fluid bolus was ordered; however, the fluid bag was attached to the IV line that had the vasopressor at a Y-site and the bolus was initiated.

A 65-year-old man with a history of type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and coronary artery disease was transferred from a Level III trauma center to a Level I trauma center with lower extremity paralysis after a ground level fall complicated by a 9-cm abdominal aortic aneurysm and cervical spinal cord injury. Post transfer, the patient was noted to have rapidly progressive ascending paralysis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed severe spinal stenosis involving C3-4 and post-traumatic cord edema/contusion involving C6-7.

Uitvlugt EB, Janssen MJA, Siegert CEH, et al. Front Pharmacol. 2021;12:567424.
Identifying and reducing potentially preventable readmissions is a patient safety priority. This study found that 16% of readmissions at one teaching hospital in the Netherlands were medication-related; of those, 40% were considered potentially preventable. Preventable readmissions were attributed to prescribing errors, non-adherence, and handoff or transition errors.

A 4-year-old (former 33-week premature) boy with a complex medical history including gastroschisis and subsequent volvulus in infancy resulting in short bowel syndrome, central venous catheter placement, and home parenteral nutrition (PN) dependence was admitted with hyponatremia. A pharmacist from the home infusion pharmacy notified the physician that an error in home PN mixing had been identified; a new file had been created for this chronic PN patient by the home infusion pharmacy and the PN formula in this file was transcribed erroneously without sodium acetate.