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Committee on Identifying and Preventing Medication Errors, Aspden P, Wolcott J, Bootman JL, Cronenwett LR, eds. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2007.
A major report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) on medication errors suggests that, despite all the progress in patient safety since To Err is Human, medication errors remain extremely common, and the health care system can do much more to prevent them. Among the startling statistics from this report: more than 1.5 million Americans are injured every year in American hospitals, and the average hospitalized patient experiences at least one medication error each day. The report emphasizes actions that health care systems, providers, funders, and regulators can take to improve medication safety. These actions include having all US prescriptions written and dispensed electronically by 2010, more widespread use of medication reconciliation, and additional research on drug errors and how to prevent them. Importantly, the report also emphasizes actions that patients can take to prevent medication errors, such as maintaining active medication lists and bringing their medications to appointments. Support for the IOM report came from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Knox R. "All Things Considered." National Public Radio. July 20, 2006.
This story discusses findings from the 2006 Institute of Medicine report on medication errors and includes interviews with James Conway and Michael Cohen.
Landro L. Wall Street Journal (Eastern edition). November 29, 2006: D1-D5. [Reprinted on Post-gazette.com].
This article describes a decision support program used by Kaiser Permanente and U.S. Veterans Administration to help minimize misdiagnosis.
Borzo J. Wall Street Journal. May 23, 2005:R10.
This article discusses decision support system implementation and use, and its role in preventing physician misdiagnosis.
Donaghue E. USA Today. September 5, 2007.
This article discusses how diagnostic decision-support systems can assist physicians in correctly diagnosing patients.
Carbonara P. Fast Company. October 2008.
This magazine article describes how one health system is using an evidence-based, pay-for-performance program to reduce errors and improve outcomes in coronary-artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
Gertner J. Fast Company. October 15, 2012.
This magazine article discusses how advanced computing can improve reliability of decision-making for activities that rely on complex information and evidence, like medicine.
Cohn J. The Atlantic. March 2013;311:59–67.
This magazine article reports how technology, such as IBM's Watson, can improve the efficiency and accuracy of health care decision making.
Maron DF. Sci Am. July 21, 2017.
Landro L. Wall Street Journal. September 12, 2017.
Misdiagnosis has gained recognition as an important patient safety problem. This newspaper article reports on several areas of research and improvement efforts that seek to better understand the roots of diagnostic error and design solutions. Strategies discussed include artificial intelligence, lessons learned initiatives, and data-tracking mechanisms.
Journal Article > Study
Patient and consumer safety risks when using conversational assistants for medical information: an observational study of Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
Bickmore TW, Trinh H, Olafsson S, et al. J Med Internet Res. 2018;20:e11510.
Experts have raised safety concerns for patients seeking medical information over the Internet. This study examined whether a conversational assistant such as Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant would provide accurate information in response to a medical question. Lay participants queried a randomly assigned conversational assistant about their own health-related question and standardized questions relating to medication use and recognition of symptoms. Conversational assistants were unable to answer the majority of questions. Among the answered questions, a significant proportion of suggested actions (29%) could lead to harm. The authors conclude that conversational assistants are neither safe nor effective in providing actionable medical information.
Parikh R. MIT Technol Rev. October 23, 2018.
Computerized decision support and artificial intelligence (AI) are being utilized to enhance decision-making in health care. This magazine article explains how artificial intelligence presents clinicians with an opportunity to improve practice by reducing cognitive load when determining appropriate diagnoses and treatment decisions.
Ross C. STAT. May 13, 2019.
Nuisance alarms, interruptions, and insufficient staff availability can hinder effective monitoring and response to acute patient deterioration. This news article reports on how hospital logistics centers are working toward utilizing artificial intelligence to improve clinician response to alarms by proactively identifying hospitalized patients at the highest risk for heart failure to trigger emergency response teams when their condition rapidly declines.