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Characteristics of initial prescription episodes and likelihood of long-term opioid use—United States, 2006–2015.
Shah A, Hayes CJ, Martin BC. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017;66:265-269.
Opioid use has become a growing patient safety concern. Recent studies have documented wide variation in opioid prescribing for acute pain and a significant rate of chronic opioid use after patients receive a first prescription for an acute indication. This retrospective medical record review study identified risk factors for remaining on an opioid medication for more than 1 year following their initial prescription. Older, female, and publicly or self-insured patients were more likely to remain on an opioid compared with younger, male, and privately insured patients. Patients started on higher doses (cumulative dose ≥ 700 mg morphine equivalent), provided prescriptions with longer duration (more than 10 days), or given 3 or more prescriptions for opioids were most likely to continue to use opioid medications 1 year later. The authors recommend prescribing fewer than 7 days of opioids for acute pain and adhering to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guideline for opioid use to improve prescribing practices.
Rizk S, Oguntebi G, Graber ML, Johnston D. Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI International; 2016.
Standard term selection tools—like pick lists or drop-down menus—in information technology can create opportunities for user error due to human factors. This publication explores how mistakes such as selecting the wrong drug from an ordering pick list can occur in the ambulatory environment. The report includes recommendations and resources to help enhance medication safety when using these tools.
PA-PSRS Patient Saf Advis. May 2007;4(suppl 2):1-8.
This article shares findings from a workgroup that assessed the efficacy of pharmacy computer systems in detecting unsafe medication orders. The 30 Pennsylvania hospitals that participated in the workgroup found that their systems were not catching all unsafe orders.