Anticoagulant medications are known to be high-risk for adverse drug events. Although direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) require less monitoring than warfarin, they are still associated with an increased risk of patient harm if not prescribed and administered correctly. The Joint Commission has issued a new sentinel event alert to raise awareness of the risks related to DOACs, and in particular, the challenges associated with stopping bleeding in patients on these medications. The alert suggests that health care organizations develop patient education materials, policies, and evidence-based guidelines to ensure that DOACs and reversal agents are used appropriately. A past WebM&M commentary discussed common errors related to the use of DOACs.
Adverse drug events have been documented as a significant problem in inpatient psychiatric facilities, but methods of preventing errors in this setting have not been researched. This study, conducted at an academic inpatient psychiatric hospital, combined a computerized provider order entry system with a structured event reporting system that was used by physicians, nurses, and pharmacists. Implementation of the system was associated with a significant reduction in both prescribing errors and medication administration errors over a 5-year period.
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