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Klopotowska JE, Kuks PFM, Wierenga PC, et al. BMC Geriatr. 2022;22:505.
Adverse drug events (ADE) are common and preventable. In this study, hospital pharmacists met face-to-face with prescribing residents to review medications ordered for older adult inpatients. Preventable and unrecognized ADE decreased following implementation. The most common preventable ADE both before and after implementation occurred during the prescribing stage.
Ostrow O, Prodanuk M, Foong Y, et al. Pediatrics. 2022;150:e2021055866.
Appropriate antibiotic prescribing is a core component of antibiotic stewardship programs to reduce the risk of antibiotic-resistant microbes. This study assessed the rate of misdiagnosed pediatric urinary tract infections (UTI) and associated antibiotic use following implementation of a quality improvement intervention. Using three interventions (diagnostic algorithm, callback system, standardized discharge antibiotic prescription), misdiagnosis of UTI decreased by half, and 2,128 antibiotic days were saved.
Jessurun JG, Hunfeld NGM, Van Rosmalen J, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;Epub Jun 30.
Intravenous admixture preparation errors (IAPE) in hospitals are common and may result in harm if they reach the patient. In this before-and-after study, IAPE data were collected to evaluate the safety of a pharmacy-based centralized intravenous admixture service (CIVAS). Compared to the initial standard practice (nurse preparation on the ward), IAPE of all severity levels (i.e., potential error, no harm, harm) decreased and there were no errors in the highest severity level after implementation of CIVAS.
Parker H, Frost J, Day J, et al. PLoS ONE. 2022;17:e0271454.
Prophylactic antimicrobials are frequently prescribed for surgical patients despite the risks of antimicrobial overuse (e.g., resistance). This review summarizes how and why antimicrobials continue to be prescribed in surgical settings despite evidence of overuse. Eight overarching concepts were identified: hierarchy; fear drives action; deprioritized; convention trumps evidence; complex judgments; discontinuity of care; team dynamics; and practice environment.

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.

Smith K, Durant KM, Zimmerman C. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2022;79:1198-1204.
Clinical decision support (CDS) systems built into electronic health records are designed to alert providers to potentially unsafe orders, but many alerts are ignored or overridden. This article describes the effectiveness of one hospital’s clinical decision support for high-risk medications both before and after alert improvements.
Smith-Love J. J Nurs Care Qual. 2022;Epub Apr 28.
Barcode medication administration (BCMA) is one approach to reducing near-miss medication safety events. Researchers used a FOCUS (find-organize-clarify-understand-select) PDSA (plan-do-study-act) methodology to help frontline nursing staff identify gaps in care processes and root causes contributing to poor compliance with barcode medication administration.

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.
Levkovich BJ, Orosz J, Bingham G, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;Epub Jul 5.
Rapid response teams, also known as medical emergency teams (MET), are activated when a patient demonstrates signs of clinical deterioration to prevent transfer to intensive care, cardiac arrest, and death. MET activations were prospectively reviewed at two Australian hospitals to determine the proportion of activations due to medication-related harms and assess the preventability of the activation. 23% of MET activations were medication-related, and 63% of those were considered preventable. Most preventable activations were patients with hypertension, and prevention strategies should focus on these patients.
Yeh JC, Chae SG, Kennedy PJ, et al. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2022;Epub May 25.
Potentially inappropriate opioid infusion use can result in adverse patient outcomes. This single-site retrospective study found that potentially inappropriate opioid infusions are prevalent (44% of patients receiving opioid infusions during end-of-life care) and were associated with high rates of patient and staff distress.
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.
Dregmans E, Kaal AG, Meziyerh S, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5:e2218172.
Inappropriate antibiotic prescribing can result in patient harm and costly antibiotic-resistant infections. Health record review of 1,477 patients admitted from the emergency department for suspected bacteremia infection revealed that 11.6% were misdiagnosed at infection site, and 3.1% did not have any infection. Misdiagnosis was not associated with worse short-term clinical outcomes but was associated with potentially inappropriate broad-spectrum antibiotic use.

This WebM&M highlights two cases of patient safety events that occurred due to medication dosing related to diagnostic imaging. The commentary highlights the challenges of administering sedation for diagnostic imaging, the use of risk stratification to understand patient risk for oversedation, and strategies for appropriate monitoring and communication.

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.
Bicket MC, Waljee JF, Hilliard P. JAMA Health Forum. 2022;3:e221356.
Concern for improved prescribing of opiates motivated the development of programs and policies that have inadvertently caused new problems. This commentary discusses the impact of nonopioid use during surgery as a patient preference. It discusses the potential for adverse impacts of the strategy while recognizing the unique situation of perioperative use of pain medications.
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.
Nanji K. UpToDate. June 23, 2022.
Perioperative adverse drug events are common and understudied. This review examines factors that contribute to adverse drug events in the surgical setting and discusses prevention strategies that focus on medication reconciliation, technology, standardization, and institutional change.
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.