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Fischer SH, Shih RA, McMullen TL, et al. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2022;70:1047-1056.
Medication reconciliation (MR) occurs during transitions of care and is the process of reviewing a patient’s medication list and comparing it with the regimen being considered for the new setting of care. This study developed and tested standardized assessment data elements (SADE) for reconciliation of high-risk medications in post-acute care settings. The final set included seven elements; results demonstrate feasibility and moderate to strong reliability. The resulting seven data elements may provide the means for post-acute care settings to assess and improve this important quality process. 
Navathe AS, Liao JM, Yan XS, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2022;41:424-433.
Opioid overdose and misuse continues to be a major public health concern with numerous policy- and organization-level approaches to encourage appropriate clinician prescribing. A northern California health system studied the effects of three interventions (individual audit feedback, peer comparison, both combined) as compared to usual care at several emergency department and urgent care sites. Peer comparison and the combined interventions resulted in a significant decrease in pills per prescription.

J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2022;66(2):165-309.

Improving patient safety related to radiology and radiation oncology is an ongoing priority. This special issue explores themes related to radiology and radiation oncology, including monitoring and improving quality of care, promoting a culture of safety, and measuring, reporting, and learning from errors.
Patterson ME, Bollinger S, Coleman C, et al. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2022;18:2830-2836.
Medication errors are common among older adults discharged to long-term care facilities. Researchers reviewed medication discrepancy data from four long-term care facilities over a 9-month period and found that nearly 41% of newly admitted or re-admitted residents had at least one medication discrepancy discovered at nursing home intake. Residents who were prescribed 14 or more medications and those with certain comorbidities (e.g., heart failure, anemia, hypertension) were at greatest risk for discrepancies. Higher discrepancies occurred with respiratory and analgesic medications, underscoring the importance of medication reconciliation for residents with respiratory conditions or pain.

Errors in medication management and administration are major threats to patient safety. This piece explores issues with opioid and nursing-sensitive medication safety as well as medication safety in older adults. Future research directions in medication safety are also discussed.

McGinty EE, Bicket MC, Seewald NJ, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2022;Epub Mar 15.
Prior research has found that unsafe opioid prescribing practices are common. This retrospective study explored the association between state opioid prescribing laws and trends in opioid and nonopioid pain treatment among commercially insured adults in the United States. Findings suggest that these laws were not associated with statistically significant changes in prescribing outcomes, but the authors note that some of these estimates were imprecise and may not be generalizable to non-commercially insured populations.

Blythe A. NC Health News. March 10, 2022

Patient harm in dentistry is receiving increased attention and scrutiny. This story covers a medication incident and the lack of safety support that contributed to the death of a patient receiving oral surgery. It discusses the response of the patient’s family and their work to change regulations for dental sedation.
Watterson TL, Stone JA, Gilson A, et al. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2022;22:50.
The CancelRx system is a health information technology-based intervention intended to mitigate the challenges of communicating medication discontinuation. Using secondary data from the electronic health record (EHR) system of a midwestern academic health system, researchers found that implementing the CancelRx system resulted in a significant increase in successful medication discontinuations for controlled substances.

Institute for Safe Medication Practices. April 6, 2022. 

Drug diversion can result in patient harm due to reduced medication availability, impaired clinician performance, and loss of trust. This webinar discussed the impact of drug diversion at a system level and outlined steps an organization can take to minimize this risk through workplace health strategies and stewardship programs.
Fischer H, Hahn EE, Li BH, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:222-232.
While falls are common in older adults, there was a 31% increase in death due to falls in the U.S. from 2007-2016, partially associated with the increase in older adults in the population. This mixed methods study looked at the prevalence, risk factors, and contributors to potentially harmful medication dispensed after a fall/fracture of patients using the Potentially Harmful Drug-Disease Interactions in the Elderly (HEDIS DDE) codes. There were 113,809 patients with a first time fall; 35.4% had high-risk medications dispensed after their first fall. Interviews with 22 physicians identified patient reluctance to report falls and inconsistent assessment, and documentation of falls made it challenging to consider falls when prescribing medications.
Jones MD, Clarke J, Feather C, et al. Ann Pharmacother. 2021;55:1333-1340.
Medication errors during pediatric resuscitation are common. Using video recordings of simulated pediatric resuscitations, the researchers explored deviations in care related to the delivery of intravenous medicine. Findings suggest that deviations play a crucial role in intravenous medication administration errors, and deviations were more likely to occur during the use of an online injectable medicine guideline.

Fed Register. February 10, 2022;87: 7838-7840.

The 2016 Centers for Disease Control opioid guidelines have raised concerns as to their potential to contribute to patient harm. This announcement calls for comments from the field to inform and update current policy in response to safety issues that emerged as unintended consequences of the 2016 recommendation. Comments are due to be submitted by April 11, 2022.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. February 10, 2022:27(3):1-6.

Best practices evolve over time, given experience and evidence associated with their use. This article summarizes 3 new areas of focus included in current recommendations for sustaining medication safety. The new practices focus on improving the safety of oxytocin use, enhancing vaccine administration through bar coding, and implementing multifocal efforts to reduce high-alert medication errors. A survey accompanies the article to gather data on the presence of the new recommendations in the field. 
Lawson SA, Hornung LN, Lawrence M, et al. Pediatrics. 2022;149:e2020004937.
Insulin is a high-risk medication and can contribute to adverse events in pediatric patients. This paper describes one children’s hospital’s experience implementing a new standardized medication administration process for insulin and the impact on insulin-related adverse drug events (ADEs). Findings indicate that implementation of a PRN (i.e., “as needed”) ordering process and clinician education decreased insulin-related ADEs and reduced the time between blood glucose checks and insulin administration.
Liu Y, Becker A, Mattke S. J Healthc Qual. 2022;Epub Jan 27.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is increasingly used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). This study found that providers or practices with higher quality measure scores of MAT continuity (percentage of patients with OUD who had at least 180 days of continuous treatment) had a lower risk of opioid-related adverse events among their patients.

Farnborough, UK: Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; February 2, 2022.

Weight-calculation errors can result in pediatric patient harm as they affect medication prescribing, dispensing, and administration accuracy. This report examines factors contributing to a computation mistake that resulted in a child receiving a 10-fold anticoagulant overdose over a 3-day period. Areas of focus for improvement include use of prescribing technology, and the double-check as an error barrier.

Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. January 27, 2022;27(2):1-6.

Medication errors are a consistent threat to safe patient care. This newsletter article analyzes events submitted to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices in 2021 and highlights those that are COVID-related or common, yet preventable, if practice recommendations and system improvements are applied.

This WebM&M features two cases involving patients undergoing surgical procedures who received perioperative opioid analgesics to aid in pain and sedation efforts and who experienced adverse events due to opioid stacking. The commentary provides evidence-based suggestions for optimal management of patients who are administered opioid therapy, including standardized sedation assessment, advanced patient monitoring strategies, appropriate use of naloxone, and non-opioid pain management strategies.

Warner MA, Warner ME. Anesthesiology. 2021;135:963-974.
The legacy of anesthesiology as a leader in patient safety is reviewed as a model for other communities seeking to reduce medical error. The authors highlight the collaboration strategies that the specialty embraced as a key component of its success.