Narrow Results Clear All
- WebM&M Cases 3
- Perspectives on Safety 1
- Review 1
- Study 9
- Slideset 1
- Book/Report 8
- Newspaper/Magazine Article 76
- Toolkit 1
- Web Resource 29
- Award 1
- Grant 1
- Meeting/Conference 1
- Press Release/Announcement 14
- Communication Improvement 45
- Culture of Safety 5
Education and Training
- Students 1
Error Reporting and Analysis
- Error Reporting 22
- Human Factors Engineering 24
Legal and Policy Approaches
- Regulation 11
- Logistical Approaches 6
- Quality Improvement Strategies 29
- Specialization of Care 3
- Teamwork 1
- Clinical Information Systems 18
- Transparency and Accountability 1
- Device-related Complications 7
- Discontinuities, Gaps, and Hand-Off Problems 9
- Identification Errors 8
- Interruptions and distractions 1
- Medical Complications 15
- Medication Errors/Preventable Adverse Drug Events
- Nonsurgical Procedural Complications 2
- Overtreatment 1
- Psychological and Social Complications 3
- Surgical Complications 9
- Internal Medicine 25
- Pediatrics 32
- Nursing 9
- Pharmacy 72
- Family Members and Caregivers 6
- Health Care Executives and Administrators 47
Health Care Providers
- Nurses 7
- Pharmacists 20
- Physicians 20
Non-Health Care Professionals
- Media 4
- Australia and New Zealand 1
- Europe 6
- Canada 5
- United States of America 134
Search results for "Medication Safety"
Appleby J, Lucas E. Kaiser Health News. June 21, 2019.
Gordon M. Health Shots. National Public Radio. April 10, 2019.
Punitive responses to medical errors persist despite continued efforts to reduce them. This news article reports on an incident involving the mistaken use of a neuromuscular blocking agent that resulted in the death of a patient, the prosecution of the nurse who made the error, and systemic and human factors that contribute to similar events.
FDA identifies harm reported from sudden discontinuation of opioid pain medicines and requires label changes to guide prescribers on gradual, individualized tapering.
Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; April 9, 2019.
Efforts to address the opioid epidemic range from regulation to changes in pain management. This safety announcement raises awareness of potential harms associated with rapidly decreasing the dose of or discontinuing opioids for patients who may be physically dependent on the medication. It also announces a requirement regarding changes to prescribing information for opioids to provide expanded guidance on how to safely taper doses. Health care providers should discuss tapering plans with patients and provide ongoing monitoring and support.
Journal Article > Commentary
Using a spare medication vial to store multiple medications: a potentially fatal in-home medication error.
Leonard JB, Klein-Schwartz W. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2019;76:264-265.
Patient and family medication administration mistakes can result in medication errors at home. This commentary describes the problem of "pill dumping," where patients combine their daily medicines into a spare vial. However, patients are at risk for mistakenly taking a vial of a single medication instead of their pill-dump vial and inadvertently overdosing. The authors suggest medication counseling and use of daily pill boxes as tactics to prevent this type of error.
FDA Safety Communication: use caution with implanted pumps for intrathecal administration of medicines for pain management.
MedWatch Safety Alert. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; November 14, 2018.
This safety announcement raises awareness of pump failures, dosing errors, and other potential safety issues associated with implanted pumps. Recommendations to enhance safety include review of medication labeling to select appropriate medicines and concentrations as well as open discussions with patients about risks associated with pump and medication options.
Kowalczyk L. Boston Globe. May 27, 2018.
Pediatric patients are particularly vulnerable to medication errors. This news article reports on serious medication errors that occurred at Children's Hospital in 2017, the underlying system failures that contributed to the incidents, and challenges to implementing new policies meant to prevent similar errors.
Journal Article > Study
Mullen RJ, Curtis LM, O'Conor R, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2018;75:e213-e220.
Prior research has shown that patients with limited health literacy are at increased risk for misunderstanding the appropriate dosing of acetaminophen, a commonly used nonprescription medication that can cause acute liver failure after an overdose. In this study, researchers examined the risk of nonprescription acetaminophen misuse among 500 English-speaking patients across 4 outpatient clinics. They found that 39% of participants had limited health literacy and 54% had low visual acuity. Both reduced visual acuity and lower health literacy were independent risk factors for dosing errors and for insufficient understanding regarding the simultaneous use of multiple acetaminophen-containing products. An AHRQ Literacy Toolkit is available that provides a business case for interventions, educational tools, and guides for engaging patients in health literacy discussions. A previous WebM&M commentary discussed an incident involving confusion with acetaminophen dosing.
Drug Enforcement Administration. April 28, 2018.
Removing unused medications from the home can help prevent accidental exposure to unneeded medications and limit their availability for misuse. This annual program provides patients with an opportunity to discard medications safely. The sponsors also provide education to highlight the importance of appropriate disposal of unused prescription drugs as a medication safety activity.
Journal Article > Review
Consumer mobile apps for potential drug–drug interaction check: systematic review and content analysis using the Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS).
Kim BY, Sharafoddini A, Tran N, Wen EY, Lee J. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2018;6:e74.
Patients are powerful allies in improving medication safety. This study found that available mobile applications that enable patients to check for drug–drug interactions are of moderate quality and low cost. They did not assess efficacy. An Annual Perspective examined other technological innovations for engaging patients in safety.
Daley J. Colorado Public Radio. February 23, 2018.
Innovations in the prescribing of opioids in the emergency department are needed to change practice and help address the opioid crisis. This news article reports the results of a 10-hospital pilot program, the Colorado Opioid Safety Collaborative, which used alternative pain control approaches to reduce opioid prescriptions by an average of 36%. The program builds on multidisciplinary teamwork to modify pain management in the emergency department. An Annual Perspective highlighted opioid misuse as a patient safety challenge.
Boodman SG. Washington Post. December 9, 2017.
The prevalence of polypharmacy among older patients represents an important concern for health care safety, as unneeded medications can contribute to patient harm. This newspaper article reports on several strategies to reduce inappropriate medication use in older patients, including desprescribing and brown bag medication review.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press: 2017. ISBN: 9780309461856.
Patient health literacy is a known challenge in health care safety. This publication reports on results of a multidisciplinary workshop that explored health literacy improvement strategies and tools to enhance the clarity of labels, patient instructions, and decision aids to support safe medication use.
Journal Article > Study
Monkman H, Kushniruk AW. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2017;234:233-237.
Medication management in outpatient settings requires patients to recognize adverse medication effects. This expert review study found that standardized information from a large Canadian retail pharmacy lacked key information about possible adverse effects and drug interactions. The authors suggest that this information gap leads to an urgent and addressable patient safety risk.
Furfaro H. Wall Street Journal. September 25, 2016.
Medication errors in pediatric care are common in the hospital and at home. This newspaper article reports on problems associated with medication safety among pediatric patients and highlights several tools both clinicians and parents can use to enhance safety when administering medicine to children, including dosage calculators and pictures depicting medication administration processes.
Tools/Toolkit > Fact Sheet/FAQs
FDA Consumer Health Information. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; September 20, 2016.
Highlighting how aging affects medication absorption that may lead to complications, this fact sheet offers recommendations for older patients to follow instructions, maintain a medication list, be aware of drug interaction potential, and perform an annual review of medications with clinicians to help them take prescriptions safely.
Journal Article > Study
Yin HS, Parker RM, Sanders LM, et al. Pediatrics. 2016;138:e20160357.
Misinterpretation of medication labels is a well-recognized source of medication error in the outpatient setting, especially among patients with low health literacy. This randomized controlled study looked at how units of measurement on medication labels and dosing tool characteristics affected dosing errors with regard to liquid medications in pediatrics. About 84% of parents made at least one dosing error, and 21% made at least one large error, defined as administering more than double the dose. Researchers concluded that the use of oral syringes resulted in fewer dosing errors than cups, especially when administering small doses. The authors conclude that oral syringes should be recommended when dispensing liquid medications in pediatrics. A prior WebM&M commentary discussed a pediatric dosing error.
Gorman A. Kaiser Health News. August 30, 2016.
Older patients are particularly vulnerable to medication errors, as they are often prescribed multiple medications for chronic conditions. This news article reports on complexities associated with managing medications in older patients, including how miscommunication between care team members and patient misunderstanding of postdischarge medication changes can increase risks and contribute to preventable harm. A recent WebM&M commentary discussed strategies to safely manage medications in older patients and highlighted the importance of medication reconciliation.
Journal Article > Study
Shiffman S, Cotton H, Jessurun C, Rohay JM, Sembower MA. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2016;56:495-503.
Poor health literacy is associated with the misunderstanding of medication labels, which can lead to adverse drug events. This study sought to assess how adding an acetaminophen icon to the labels of acetaminophen-containing medications affects consumers' ability to avoid unintentional overdose, which is known to cause liver damage. Investigators found that presence of the icon reduced the likelihood of medication errors by 53%, and they concluded that the icon may particularly benefit those with lower health literacy. A past WebM&M commentary discussed a case of liver injury caused by incorrect dosing of acetaminophen.
Rau J. Washington Post. April 29, 2016.
Transitions in care between inpatient and outpatient settings are an increasing concern for patient safety. Reporting on a fatal medication error that was missed by a patient's pharmacist and home health nurses, this newspaper article discusses various risks associated with hospital-to-home transitions such as insufficient case management and communication.
Web Resource > Government Resource
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.