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Journal Article > Study
Haffajee RL, Mello MM, Zhang F, Zaslavsky AM, Larochelle MR, Wharam JF. Health Aff (Millwood). 2018;37:964-974.
The opioid epidemic is a well-recognized national patient safety issue. High-risk opioid prescribing can contribute to misuse. Provider prescribing has come under increased scrutiny and several states have implemented prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs). Prior research suggests that such programs have the potential to reduce opioid-related harm. This study used commercial claims data to assess the impact of PDMPs implemented in four states in 2012–2013 on opioid prescribing. By the end of 2014, all four states with PDMPs demonstrated a greater reduction in the average amount of morphine-equivalents prescribed per person per quarter compared with states without these programs. One state demonstrated a decrease in the percentage of people who filled an opioid prescription. The authors conclude that PDMPs have the potential to reduce opioid use and improve prescribing practices. An Annual Perspective highlighted safety issues associated with opioid medications.
Journal Article > Commentary
Thomas LR, Ripp JA, West CP. JAMA. 2018;319:1541-1542.
Clinician burnout is a growing concern with known patient safety implications. This commentary describes a charter for health care organizations to prioritize physician well-being in order to preserve quality and safety of patient care. The charter includes elements known to contribute to safety, such as a positive work culture and leadership engagement. The authors call for reducing time spent on documentation and administration, consistent with prior studies. A related editorial emphasizes the importance of the physician–patient relationship in creating meaning and joy in physician work. A previous PSNet interview and perspective discussed the relationship between physician professional satisfaction and patient safety.