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This WebM&M highlights two cases where home diabetes medications were not reviewed during medication reconciliation and the preventable harm that could have occurred. The commentary discusses the importance of medication reconciliation, how to compile the ‘best possible medication history’, and how pharmacy staff roles and responsibilities can reduce medication errors.

Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. July 14, 2022:27(14):1-4.

Human errors that occur while interacting with electronic health record (EHR) systems can impact patients. This article discusses a keystroke error that delayed the scheduling of an antibiotic for one year. Recommendations to mitigate the potential for similar errors include risk assessment, hard stop use, and daily medication review.
Xiao Y, Smith A, Abebe E, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;Epub May 22.
Older adults are particularly vulnerable to medication errors due to polypharmacy and medical complexities. In this qualitative study, healthcare professionals outlined several multifactorial hazards for medication-related harm during care transitions, including complex dosing, knowledge gaps, errors in discharge medications and gaps in access to care.
Brown A, Cavell G, Dogra N, et al. Int J Med Inform. 2022;164:104780.
Alert fatigue and subsequent overrides are known contributors to preventable adverse events particularly for high-risk drug-drug interactions. Researchers assessed prescribers’ actions following an alert for new prescriptions of Low Molecular Weight Heparins (LMWHs) to patients currently prescribed Direct Acting Anticoagulants (DOACs). More than half of the alerts were overridden but were appropriate and justified in most cases.
Vallamkonda S, Ortega CA, Lo YC, et al. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2022;290:120-124.
Prior research has found that electronic health record (EHR) implementation has introduced risks to patient safety. Using data from one hospital’s EHR system, this study reviewed active allergy alerts in patient records and concluded that 37% of those records required reconciliation of allergy information across different areas of the EHR. These findings highlight the need for automated reconciliation algorithms and clinical decision support tools to help clinicians identify potential allergy discrepancies and avoid patient safety risks.
Stuijt CCM, van den Bemt BJF, Boerlage VE, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2022;22:722.
Medication reconciliation can reduce medication errors, but implementation practices can vary across institutions. In this study, researchers compared data for patients from six hospitals and different clinical departments and found that hospitals differed in the number and type of medication reconciliation interventions performed. Qualitative analysis suggests that patient mix, types of healthcare professionals involved, and when and where the medication reconciliation interviews took place, influence the number of interventions performed.
Khan A, Parente V, Baird JD, et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2022;176:776-786.
Parent or caregiver limited English proficiency (LPE) has been associated with increased risk of their children experiencing adverse events. In this study, limited English proficiency was associated with lower odds of speaking up or asking questions when something does not appear right with their child’s care. Recommendations for improving communication with limited English proficiency patients and families are presented.
Devarajan V, Nadeau NL, Creedon JK, et al. Pediatrics. 2022;149:e2020014696.
Several factors contribute to the increased risk of prescribing errors for children, including weight-based dosing and drug formulation. This quality improvement project in one pediatric emergency department identified four key drivers and implemented four interventions to reduce errors. Prescribing errors were reduced across three plan-do-study-act cycles, and improvements were maintained six months after the final cycle.

Clark C. MedPage Today. June 2, 2022

Transparency and discussion of errors is a hallmark of the culture needed to improve safety. This article summarizes an Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation statement directing organizations and individuals that provide anesthesia care to protect patients and encourage learning from error. It provides context through a discussion of official reports and investigations of a high-profile incident that culminated in criminal charges for the clinician involved.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. June 2, 2022;27(11):1-4.

Minimizing look-alike/sound-alike medication risk is a universal need across health care. This story highlights a primary prevention tool that lists problematic drug names. It shares strategies across the medication use process to reduce errors associated with similarly named and labeled medications such as separate storage areas and tall man lettering.
Iredell B, Mourad H, Nickman NA, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2022;79:730-735.
The advantages of automation can be safely achieved only when the technologies are implemented into processes that support their proper use in regular and urgent situations. This guideline outlines considerations for the safe use of computerized compounding devices to prepare parenteral nutrition admixtures with the broader application to other IV preparations in mind. Effective policy, training, system variation, and vendor partnerships are elements discussed.
Lichtner V, Dowding D. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2022;294:740-744.
Barcode medication administration (BCMA) processes are designed to prevent some types of medication administration errors. This article discusses how BCMA workflows support error prevention and how to identify workarounds that negate these error prevention mechanisms.
Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research; May 18, 2022.
This guidance outlines design elements that reduce errors associated with medication labels. Improvements suggested include tall-man lettering use, look-alike / sound alike avoidance and abbreviation minimization.

Kelman B. Kaiser Health News. April 29, 2022.

Technological solutions harbor unique risks that can result in patient harm. This article shares a response to reports of automated dispensing cabinet (ADC) menu selection limitations that contribute to mistakes. The piece suggests the implementation of a 5-letter search requirement prior to removing a medication from an ADC. It provides an update on industry response to this forcing function recommendation.

Institute for Safe Medication Practices and the Just Culture Company. May 6, 2022.

Organizational factors can contribute to the occurrence of patient safety events and how health systems respond to such events. This webinar highlighted lessons learned in the aftermath of a fatal medication error, and strategies to improve patient safety at the organizational level through system design and accountability.
Colombini N, Abbes M, Cherpin A, et al. Int J Med Inform. 2022;160:104703.
Computerized provider order entry (CPOE) refers to a system in which clinicians directly place orders electronically to be sent to the receiver (e.g., pharmacist). This French hospital analyzed hospital discharge orders (HDO) over a six-month period to evaluate the use rate of CPOE, prescription concordance between CPOE-edited HDO, exit prescriptions transcribed in the discharge summary, and prescribing error rate. Use of CPOE and pharmacist intervention reduced prescribing errors of hospital discharge orders.
Lin MP, Vargas-Torres C, Shin-Kim J, et al. Am J Emerg Med. 2022;53:135-139.
Drug shortages can result in patient harm, such as dosing errors from a medication substitution. In this study, 28 of the 30 most frequently used medications in the emergency department experienced shortages between 2006 and 2019. The most common reasons for shortages were manufacturing delays and increased demand. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated pre-existing drug shortages.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2022. ISBN: 9780309686259

Nursing homes face significant patient safety challenges, and these challenges became more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. This report identifies key issues in the delivery of care for nursing home residents and provides recommendations to strengthen the quality and safety of care delivery, such as improved working conditions, enhanced minimum staffing standards, improving quality measurement, and strengthening emergency preparedness.