Children’s Hospitals Form Collective Effort on Patient Safety to Prevent Medication Errors

According to a recent article in Pharmacy Practice News that our Washington D.C. pharmacy error injury attorneys have been following, a group of children’s hospitals in Ohio have prevented around 3,600 adverse drug events and surgical site infections, along with saving over $5 million, during an 18-month program initiative that was launched in 2009.

The initiative, called “Solutions for Patient Safety,” was reportedly launched with support of the Cardinal Health Foundation, who gave 1.5 million, along with the shared motivation of children’s hospitals in an effort to work together to eliminate preventable injury or harm to children.

Before the initiative began, each children’s hospital in the state reportedly collected data on adverse drug events in a different way—making it very difficult to compare or share information within hospitals. After conducting audits of a random collection of charts, the group was able to come together and manually identify and review the root cause of adverse events, and pinpoint a set of common concerns.

The initiative found that the main collective medication error problem was constipation from opioids, as well as over sedation as a result of the narcotics. Although constipation is not a life-threatening adverse drug event, it can reportedly add to more time in the hospital, more lab work, and tests, which can all add to additional costs.

As part of the analysis, the team aimed to find weak spots in the medication usage system—from prescribing to dispensing, to the administration of the drug—leading the hospitals to agree on a standard order of set guidelines for the delivery of patient-controlled painkillers, in an effort to make it safer, more effective and to reduce error.

According to the group, this collaborative spirit is a large step forward with hospitals in Ohio, and even across the country, as long as hospitals are willing to share good preventative processes that aim to help prevent medication errors or adverse events in hospitals.

In Washington D.C., contact our pharmacy error injury lawyers today.

Protecting Pediatric Patients Is Team Affair, Pharmacy Practice News, March 2011

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Medication Error Reports

Institute for Safe Medication Practices, (ISMP)

20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors in Children: Patient Fact Sheet, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Related Blog Posts:

Another Child Receives Prescription Mix-up From Same Walgreens Pharmacy, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, February 23, 2011
Walgreen’s Pharmacy Error Sends Two-year-old Child to the Hospital, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, September 14, 2010

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