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Healthcare Excellence Canada
This site provides promotional materials for an annual awareness campaign on patient safety that takes place in the autumn. The 2022 observance will be held October 24th through 28th.
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.

Jordan M, Young-Whitford M, Mullan J, et al. Aust J Gen Pract. 2022;51:521-528.
Interventions such as deprescribing, pharmacist involvement, and medication reconciliation are used to reduce polypharmacy and use of high-risk medications such as opioids. In this study, a pharmacist was embedded in general practice to support medication management of high-risk patients. This study presents perspectives of the pharmacists, general practitioners, practice personnel, patients, and carers who participated in the program.
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.
Fenton JJ, Magnan E, Tseregounis IE, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5:e2216726.
Adverse events associated with long-term opioid therapy have led to recommendations for dose tapering for patients with chronic pain. This study assessed the long-term risks of overdose and mental health crisis as a result of dose tapering. Consistent with earlier research on short-term risks, results indicate that opioid tapering is associated with increased risk of adverse events up to 24 months after initiation of tapering.
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.
Institute for Safe Medication Practices.
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices sponsors the annual Cheers Awards to recognize both individuals and institutions for their commitment to medication safety.  The deadline for submitting nominations for the 2022 award cycle is September 9. 
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.
Institute for Safe Medication Practices. August 4-5, 2022.
This virtual workshop will explore tactics to ensure medication safety, including strategic planning, risk assessment, and Just Culture principles.
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.
Guzek R, Goodbody CM, Jia L, et al. J Pediatr Orthop. 2022;42:393-399.
Research has demonstrated inequitable treatment of racially minoritized patients resulting in poorer health outcomes. This study aimed to determine if implicit racial bias impacts pediatric orthopedic surgeons’ clinical decision making. While pediatric orthopedic surgeons showed stronger pro-white implicit bias compared to the US general population (29% vs. 19%), the bias did not appear to affect decision making in clinical vignettes.
Butler AM, Brown DS, Durkin MJ, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5:e2214153.
Inappropriately prescribing antibiotics for non-bacterial infections remains common in outpatient settings despite the associated risks. This analysis of antibiotics prescribed to more than 2.8 million children showed more than 30% of children with bacterial infection, and 4%-70% of children with viral infection were inappropriately prescribed antibiotics. Inappropriate prescribing led to increased risk of adverse drug events (e.g., allergic reaction) and increased health expenditures in the following 30 days.
Jambon J, Choukroun C, Roux-Marson C, et al. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2022;45:65-71.
Polypharmacy in older adults is an ongoing safety concern due to the risk of being prescribed a potentially inappropriate medication or co-prescription of medications with dangerous interactions. In this study of adults aged 65 and older with chronic pain, 54% were taking at least one potentially inappropriate medication and 43% were at moderate or high risk of adverse drug events. Measures such as involvement of a pharmacist in medication review could reduce risk of adverse drug events in older adult outpatients.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. May 19, 2022;27(10):1-5.

Challenging authority can be difficult but necessary in risky situations. This article examines a serial euthanasia overdose case and how the individuals interfacing with the physician involved sensed the medications ordered were inappropriate, yet said nothing. The piece discusses organizational and individual steps to encourage raising concerns in an appropriate and effective manner.
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.
Virnes R-E, Tiihonen M, Karttunen N, et al. Drugs Aging. 2022;39:199-207.
Preventing falls is an ongoing patient safety priority. This article summarizes the relationship between prescription opioids and risk of falls among older adults, and provides recommendations around opioid prescribing and deprescribing.
Brady KJS, Barlam TF, Trockel MT, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2022;48:287-297.
Inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics to treat viral illnesses is an ongoing patient safety threat. This study examined the association between clinician depression, anxiety, and burnout and inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics for acute respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in outpatient care. Depression and anxiety, but not burnout, were associated with increased adjusted odds of inappropriate prescribing for RTIs.

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.