Medication Errors Recovered by Emergency Department Pharmacists
ABSTRACT We assess the impact of emergency department (ED) pharmacists on reducing potentially harmful medication errors.
We conducted this observational study in 4 academic EDs. Trained pharmacy residents observed a convenience sample of ED pharmacists' activities. The primary outcome was medication errors recovered by pharmacists, including errors intercepted before reaching the patient (near miss or potential adverse drug event), caught after reaching the patient but before causing harm (mitigated adverse drug event), or caught after some harm but before further or worsening harm (ameliorated adverse drug event). Pairs of physician and pharmacist reviewers confirmed recovered medication errors and assessed their potential for harm. Observers were unblinded and clinical outcomes were not evaluated.
We conducted 226 observation sessions spanning 787 hours and observed pharmacists reviewing 17,320 medications ordered or administered to 6,471 patients. We identified 504 recovered medication errors, or 7.8 per 100 patients and 2.9 per 100 medications. Most of the recovered medication errors were intercepted potential adverse drug events (90.3%), with fewer mitigated adverse drug events (3.9%) and ameliorated adverse drug events (0.2%). The potential severities of the recovered errors were most often serious (47.8%) or significant (36.2%). The most common medication classes associated with recovered medication errors were antimicrobial agents (32.1%), central nervous system agents (16.2%), and anticoagulant and thrombolytic agents (14.1%). The most common error types were dosing errors, drug omission, and wrong frequency errors.
ED pharmacists can identify and prevent potentially harmful medication errors. Controlled trials are necessary to determine the net costs and benefits of ED pharmacist staffing on safety, quality, and costs, especially important considerations for smaller EDs and pharmacy departments.
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ABSTRACT: Electronic patient tracking and records systems in emergency departments often connect to hospital information systems, ambulatory patient records and ancillary systems. The networked systems may not be fully interoperable and clinicians need to access data through different interfaces. This study was conducted to describe the interactive behavior of clinicians working with partially interoperable clinical information systems. We performed 78 hours of observation at two emergency departments, shadowing five physicians, ten nurses and four administrative staff. Actions related to viewing or recording data in any system or on paper were recorded. Collected data were compared along clinical roles and contrasted with findings across the two hospital sites. The findings suggest that differences in the levels of interoperability may affect the ways physicians and nurses interact with the systems. When tradeoffs in functionality are necessary for connecting ancillary systems, the effects on clinicians and staff need to be considered.AMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings / AMIA Symposium. AMIA Symposium 01/2010; 2010:311-5.
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Article: Emergency medicine pharmacy[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
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