Relatively few medications are dosed weekly; thus, accidental daily dosing of oral methotrexate has occurred all too frequently. This type of wrong-frequency error has originated in all stages of the medication use process, from prescribing to self-administration.
Pharmacists can play a key role in helping physicians discontinue inappropriate medications among older adults, researchers wrote recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The discussion at The Joint Commission’s 2019 Executive Briefings on medication management was one of the most far-ranging, with questions on medication compounding, opioids and painkillers, and syringe use asked and answered.
The survey of more than 90 Vizient hospital and health system leaders found that 64% of hospitals have increased investment in opioid medication management in the last 12 months.
The guidelines, which are targeted at health system and hospital settings, are designed to give pharmacists ground rules and best practices to improve patient safety and avoid medication errors.
During our latest summit, we focused on optimizing use of the technology during administration of secondary and intermittent infusions, patient-controlled analgesia (PCA), epidural infusions, plain IV solutions, and perioperative/anesthesia medications; preparing for pump-electronic health record (EHR) interoperability; and library analytics.
According to data from the Danbury, Connecticut–based IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, opioid prescriptions in general declined by 10.2% in 2017. Prescriptions for the highest doses fell by 16.1% in 2017 as well, and dropped more than 33% since January 2016. The report also found that prescription opioid volume has decreased every year over the past five years in all 50 states.
Last October, the hospital was placed under immediate jeopardy following the death of a patient with dementia. DeKalb Medical officers self-reported the incident to CMS and released a statement saying they “want to make sure it never happens again.” The case has spurred a series of patient safety reforms, many of which seek to reduce overreliance on technology.
Hospitals can make their own policies, too. Institute a policy on opioid prescribing to relieve your providers of some decision-making pressure in an age of addiction awareness—and, if you do it right, your providers should still be able to give patients the pain relief they need.
The errors took place between January and November 2017, involving two medications and leading CMS surveyors to threaten Boston Children’s with potential termination from the Medicare program.