Many studies have shown the benefits of certain medications for improving long-term outcomes in patients with chronic conditions. However, even when evidence-based recommendations are closely followed, there is a potential for adverse consequences because of the concurrent use of multiple medications.
Burnout already affected more than half of all physicians prior to the coronavirus pandemic, and it has only intensified among doctors and other healthcare workers in recent months. According to a recent survey, 65% of physicians indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased their feelings of burnout, as they feel overwhelmed and helpless in the face of the virus. And increasing burnout is widely reported in nursing, pharmacy, and nearly all other clinical areas.
The good news is that a new category of solutions—precision health insight networks (PHIN)—is emerging to help overcome these barriers and advance mainstream use of precision medicine. With the right infrastructure in place, health systems and health plans can scale delivery of precision care to achieve markedly better outcomes while significantly reducing healthcare costs.
The toolkit offers a core elements checklist for assessing policies and procedures, treatment recommendations in primary care taken from the CDC, and a flow chart that maps out considerations for surgical procedures. It also provides recent information on potential threats to antimicrobial stewardship due to COVID-19.
We know that overdoses quickened their pace in 2020, according to the CDC. The CDC identified over 81,000 drug overdoses in the 12 months ending in May 2020, the highest number ever in a 12-month period. And while those numbers were increasing prior to COVID-19, the latest data indicate the numbers accelerated further during the pandemic.
A host of additional snares have arisen during the past year, but Rose points out that, pandemic or not, patients struggle with three main medication adherence challenges: The patient never takes a prescribed medication at all. This can occur for a number of reasons such as misunderstanding their chronic diagnosis or the need for taking a medication.
It is evident that many underlying causes of flu vaccine–related errors could just as easily lead to errors associated with the new COVID-19 vaccines and the hundreds of millions of doses that will be given. It will be crucial for any healthcare provider who plans to stock and/or administer COVID-19 vaccines to learn from these prior vaccine-related errors, anticipate that similar errors could happen with the COVID-19 vaccines, and take the necessary steps to prepare their facilities and healthcare teams to mitigate the risk of vaccine-related errors.
When deciding on where to place med rec resources, start by looking at where most of your admissions come from. For many hospitals, admissions largely come from planned surgical procedures or the Emergency Department, so these are prime areas in which to consider having a med rec team collect medication histories.
With recent increases in drug overdose deaths in more than 40 states stemming from COVID-19, combined with potential disruption to the pharmaceutical supply chain, it’s not a leap to see that the healthcare industry is facing incredible risks related to drug diversion.
To support the diversion program effort, refer to the controlled substance- and diversion-related requirements with which facilities must comply. Sources of such requirements include the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), DEA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), survey agencies, state regulations, and professional boards.