Study Finds Maryland Hospitals Improve Safety and Health Standards

A recent study, published in the medical journal, Quality & Safety in Health Care, reportedly found that thirty-five Maryland hospitals showed notable improvements in the safe delivery and administration of drugs to patients in hospitals.

The study was performed on behalf of the Maryland Patient Safety Center, whose aim is to create health care in Maryland that is safer than any other state in the country by reducing adverse medication events, improving patient safety, and by focusing on improving the care systems in Maryland hospitals.

Released in October of last year, the study concluded that when measuring the delivery of medication, the combined Maryland safety scores for these hospitals dealing with acute care rose by almost 10 percent in over two years, reducing occurrences of medication errors.

By comparing safety data on medication and drug use between the years of 2005 and 2007, the authors of the study reported that Maryland hospitals received the highest scores in the packaging of drugs, the standardized distribution of drugs and safe labeling, safe storage of drugs, and keeping chemicals that are hazardous away from drug-preparation and patient areas, to reduce patient injury or harm.

The hospitals also reportedly showed success with certain strategies put into place to reduce medication errors linked to confusing medication labeling, timing standardization for the administration of drugs to patients, and continuing safety and drug education for the practitioners in the hospital.

The areas within the hospital that showed slower progress included the clear communication of medication orders, and the education of the patients as to medication and safety.

The Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) and Maryland’s member hospitals reportedly began a voluntary self-assessment of medication use safety eleven years ago, calling it the MEDSAFE Project, which was reportedly key in the state’s efforts to improve the safety and quality of hospital care, and the reduction of medication error.

As a result of the study, several Maryland hospitals have reportedly continued to initiate internal monitoring of areas where medication errors and other weaknesses were discovered. The investigators in the study also claimed that hospitals will benefit from information sharing with other hospitals on the implementation of safer practices they have employed.

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Md. Hospitals Improve Safety Standards, WBOC 16, October 8, 2010
Study Finds Medication Use Safer in Maryland, Maryland Patient Safety Center, October 9, 2010

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Maryland Patient Safety Center

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