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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.

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.

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.

A 78-year-old woman with macular degeneration presented for a pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) under monitored anesthesia care (MAC) with an eye block. At this particular hospital, eye cases under MAC are typically performed with an eye block by the surgeon after the anesthesiologist has administered some short-acting sedation, commonly with remifentanil. On this day, there was a shortage of premixed remifentanil and the resident – who was unfamiliar with the process of drug dilution – incorrectly diluted the remifentanil solution.

Maxwell E, Amerine J, Carlton G, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2021;78:s88-s94.
Clinical decision support (CDS) tools are intended to enhance care decision and delivery processes. This single-site retrospective study evaluated whether a CDS tool can reduce discharge prescription errors for patients receiving a medication substitution at admission. Findings indicate that use of CDS did not result in a decrease in discharge prescription omissions, duplications, or inappropriate medication reconciliation.
Watterson TL, Stone JA, Brown RL, et al. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021;28:1526-1533.
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.
Cattaneo D, Pasina L, Maggioni AP, et al. Drugs Aging. 2021;38:341-346.
Older adults are at increased risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19 infections. This study examined the potential severe drug-drug interactions (DDI) among hospitalized older adults taking two or more medications at admission and discharge. There was a significant increase in prescription of proton pump inhibitors and heparins from admission to discharge. Clinical decision support systems should be used to assess potential DDI with particular attention paid to the risk of bleeding complications linked to heparin-based DDIs.

MedWatch Safety Alert. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; January 27, 2021.  

Labeling mistakes in the pharmaceutical production cycle can remain undetected until the affected medication reaches a patient. This alert reports a recall of a neuromuscular blocker for use in surgery due to it being mislabeled as a medication to increase blood pressure. 

March 2020--January 2021.

Medication safety is improved through the sharing of frontline improvement experiences and concerns. These articles share recommendations to reduce risks associated with distinct areas of the medication use process. The topics discuss areas that require specific attention during the COVID-19 pandemic such as the use of smart pumps and automated dispensing cabinets.

A 58-year-old female receiving treatment for transformed lymphoma was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with E. coli bacteremia and colitis secondary to neutropenia, and ongoing hiccups lasting more than 48 hours. She was prescribed thioridazine 10 mg twice daily for the hiccups and received four doses without resolution; the dose was then increased to 15 mg and again to 25 mg without resolution.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. July 30, 2020;25(15).

This article reports on the results of a survey on the use of practices to improve the safety of prescribing and dispensing of long-acting opioids and use of the override feature in automated dispensing cabinets. The approximately 250 hospitals responding shared experience indicating weakness in implementing improvement efforts on the two practices studied. The results found that hospitals employing a medication safety officer had stronger uptake of the best practices.
Krukas A, Franklin ES, Bonk C, et al. Patient Safety. 2020;2.
Intravenous vancomycin is an antibiotic with known medication safety risk factors. This assessment is designed to assist organizations to review clinician and organizational knowledge, medication administration activities and health information technology as a risk management strategy to minimize hazards associated with vancomycin use. 
Erickson SR, Kamdar N, Wu C-H. Am J Intellect Dev Disabil. 2019;125:37-48.
Prior research has found that children with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) may experience poor quality care and are at risk for adverse events, but less is known about risk among adults with IDD. Using data from a nationally representative database, the authors compared hospitalizations due to adverse medication events among adults with IDD compared with the general adult population and found that adults with IDD were at a significantly greater risk of having a hospital admission due to an adverse event (odds ratio, 1.28).
Parker H, Farrell O, Bethune R, et al. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2019;85:2405-2413.
Despite process changes and availability of new technologies, prescribing errors (one type of medication administration errors) remain a serious safety problem. This article describes a single-site pharmacist-led intervention that involved doctors-in-training (residents) reviewing video footage of their patient visits with a pharmacist. The feedback intervention resulted in a significant reduction in prescribing errors and was found acceptable and feasible by participants. 
Institute for Safe Medication Practices; ISMP.
Smart infusion pumps help prevent dosage errors and capture metrics on therapy delivery and omissions. This survey sought to gather data on how clinicians use infusion pump data to inform improvement efforts. 
Picone DM, Titler MG, Dochterman J, et al. Am J Med Qual. 2008;23:115-127.
The vast majority of medication errors among geriatric patients at a university hospital were preventable. Factors predicting medication errors included patient factors, medication factors (i.e., polypharmacy), and systems factors (i.e., nurse staffing changes).