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Found 92 results
  1. News Article
    Every pharmacist must report adverse drug reactions using the yellow card scheme, says chair of the Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group, Janice Perkins Polypharmacy, when different medications are used by an individual at the same time, is becoming increasingly common because people are living for longer and with multiple different illnesses. One study, published in 2018 by the Oxford University Press, found that over half (54%) of those aged 65 years and above who took part in the study had two or more long-term conditions, for which they could have been taking a range of medicines. Read full story Source: Community Pharmacy News, 17 February 2020
  2. Content Article
    Safety recommendations The safety recommendations are focused on: Updating clinical guidance (NICE) and the UK’s pharmaceutical reference source (the British National Formulary) on use of propranolol and highlighting the toxicity in overdose. National organisations supporting their staff membership to understand the risks when prescribing propranolol to certain patients. Improving the clinical oversight in ambulance control rooms and the treatment/transfer guidance for ambulance staff for propranolol/beta blocker overdose. As well as the safety recommendations, the report makes several safety observations and highlights some safety actions that have already been undertaken by NHS England and NHS Improvement, and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. The report also emphasises that there is a link between anxiety, depression and migraine, and that more research is needed to understand the interactions between antidepressants and propranolol in overdose.
  3. Content Article
    This report from the New South Wales Agency for Clinical Innovation draws on scientific literature, empirical data and experiential evidence from patients, carers and clinicians regarding over-diagnosis and over-treatment in frail elderly patients. Underlying reasons for over-diagnosis and over-treatment include professional, cultural, organisational, health system, patient and carer and technology issues. A shift towards balanced care that supports realistic expectations and delivery models informed by research, empirical and experiential knowledge is required to address issues related to over-treatment and over-diagnosis.
  4. News Article
    A national strategy is needed to tackle health risks linked to antipsychotic drugs because current policy is letting tens of thousands of people fall through the gaps, commissioners in London are warning. Commissioners and clinicians in City and Hackney found more than 1,000 patients in their area who were on these drugs without having regular medication reviews or health checks. They warned that, if their findings applied across England, 100,000 patients could be in the same position. Although NHS England funds GP practices to carry out regular health checks on patients who are on the serious mental illness register, this excludes patients who are prescribed antipsychotics without having an SMI diagnosis — which typically covers psychoses, schizophrenia or bipolar active disorder. An audit by City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group, carried out in July 2019 and shared with HSJ, found 1,200 patients in the area were taking antipsychotics but did not have a formal SMI diagnosis. The audit found most of these patients were not receiving regular health checks and a significant number may have benefited from having their medication reduced. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 27 January 2020
  5. News Article
    An electronic health record (EHR) bug that transmits and medication order for 25 mg of a drug – not the prescribed 2.5 mg – could be the difference between life and death. And it’s that seemingly impossible reality that’s bringing more industry stakeholders to the table working to better understand EHR usability and its effects on patient safety. “Often times when people think about usability, they think about design and then they think about the EHR vendor,” Raj Ratwani, PhD, Director of MedStar Health Human Factors Center, said in an interview with EHRIntelligence. “In reality, it's a very complex space. The products that are being used by frontline clinicians are shaped by the vendor. But they are also shaped by how that product is implemented at that provider site, how it's customized, and how it’s configured. All of those things shape usability.” EHR usability issues are an exceptionally common issue, Ratwani reported in a recent JAMA article. About 40% EHRs reported having an issue that can potentially lead to patient harm and about 786 hospitals and 37,365 individual providers may have used EHRs with potential safety issues based on required product use reporting. Direct safety challenges typically come from EHR products that are sub-optimally designed, developed, or implemented. Usability issues stem from a very cluttered interface or a complex medication list. Seeing a cluttered list can lead to a clinician selecting the wrong medication. A major usability issue also comes from data entry. EHR users want that process to be as clean as possible. Consistency in the way information is entered is also key, Ratwani explained. Ratwani also wants to ensure that certification testing is as realistic as possible. He compared it to when a vehicle is certified to meet certain safety standards each year. This type of mechanism does not exist when it comes to EHRs because right when the product is certified, it then gets implemented, and there is no further certification of safety done at all after the initial testing. “One way to do that, at least for hospitals, is to have that process be something that the Joint Commission looks to do as part of their accreditation standards,” Ratwani said. “They could introduce some very basic accreditation standards that promote hospitals to do some very basic safety testing.” Read full story Source: EHR Intelligence, 13 January 2020
  6. Content Article
    Key messages Medication errors (MEs) are common and persistent problems that may pose significant risk to critically ill children admitted to paediatric and neonatal intensive care units. Prescribing and medication administration errors were the common types of MEs and dosing errors were the most frequent ME subtype in both paediatric and neonatal intensive care unit settings. Anti-infective medications were the commonly reported drug class associated with MEs/preventable adverse drug events across both intensive care unit types. Further research is needed to examine medication administration errors and preventable adverse drug events in children’s intensive care settings.
  7. News Article
    New research from the UK’s Drug Safety Research Unit (DSRU) has found that hospital pharmacists, doctors and nurses only recorded batch numbers for biologic medicines between 38% and 58% of the time during routine hospital practice. Further, an analysis of spontaneous adverse drug reaction (ADR) reports showed that brand names were only included 38% of the time, while batch number traceability was only 15%. Because of the study results, the DSRU is encouraging health professionals to improve the recording in order to aid patient safety, suggesting that it has “some way to go to encourage health professionals to record this information.” Read full story Source: PharmaTimes Online, 7 January 2020
  8. News Article
    More than 80% of patients who have signs of a deadly sepsis infection before high-risk surgery are not getting antibiotics fast enough, a major NHS report has warned. Sepsis kills an estimated 44,000 people in England every year and rapid access to antibiotics within the first hour after diagnosis is vital to halt the infection. However, a review of performance across 179 NHS hospitals has found a majority of patients undergoing emergency bowel surgery are not getting medication early enough. A leak of the bowel can cause sepsis and while antibiotics will help treat the infection, surgery is essential to repair any sepsis-causing leak. The Royal College of Anaesthetists, which carried out the study for the NHS, said although the number of patients getting surgery in time had improved over the last five years, the numbers receiving antibiotics within an hour had not. Read full story Source: The Independent, 4 January 2020
  9. Content Article
    The study analysed whether the system generated clinically valid alerts and its estimated cost savings associated with potentially prevented adverse events. These alerts were compared to alerts in the CDS system, using a random sample of 300 alerts selected for medical record review. Findings showed a total of 10,668 alerts during the five-year period. Overall, 68.2% of the alerts would not have been generated by the existing CDS system. Ninety-two percent of a random sample of the chart-reviewed alerts were accurate based on structured data available in the record, and 80% were clinically valid. The estimated cost of adverse events potentially prevented in an outpatient setting was more than $60 per drug alert and $1.3 million when extrapolating the study’s findings to the full patient population.
  10. News Article
    Two people died and hundreds of others were harmed following prescription errors in North East hospitals last year, new figures reveal. Staff at North East health trusts reported 2,375 prescribing mistakes to an NHS watchdog in 2018, including patients being given the wrong drug, failure to prescribe medicine when needed or given the wrong dosage. At County Durham And Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, where 359 errors were found, 103 patients were harmed by prescription mistakes while one person died. City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust was the second worse in the region for patients coming to harm as a result of prescription errors. One person was killed while 56 were harmed. An NHS spokesperson said: “NHS staff dealt with over a billion patient contacts over the last three years, while serious patient safety incidents are thankfully rare, it is vital that when they do happen organisations learn from what goes wrong - building on the NHS’ reputation as one of the safest health systems in the world." “As part of the NHS Long Term Plan a medicines safety programme has been established, meaning more than ever before is been done to ensure safe medicine use, and nearly £80 million been invested in new technology to prescription systems.” Read full story Source: Chronicle Live, 22 December 2019
  11. Content Article
    The report comes after the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) looked at the case of 75-year old Ann Midson, who was left taking two powerful blood-thinning medications after a mix-up at her local hospital where she was receiving treatment whilst suffering from incurable cancer. Ann sadly died from her cancer 18 days after being discharged and the error with her medication was only picked up three days before. This led to the HSIB investigation to question why this happened, even when the hospital had an ePMA system in place. The report highlights that many NHS trusts across England are taking up this technology as they reduce medication errors, but that incomplete use of e-systems could create further risks to patient safety. The investigation found that often all the functions of ePMA systems aren’t being used and that staff switch between using paper record and digital records, increasing the likelihood of crucial information being missed. Ann’s case also highlighted the routine lack of information sharing between NHS services, such as GP surgeries and pharmacies. She had been taking one blood-thinning medication on admission. This was stopped during her time at the hospital, but this message was not relayed to her local pharmacy and she continued to take both after leaving the hospital. The report also identifies that the availability of a seven-day hospital pharmacy service is crucial to support a digital system and pick up any errors quickly. The length of time it took in Ann’s case had a huge effect on both her and her family. Ann’s daughter said: “Not only were we grieving the loss of mum but also that she had to deal with the stress and upset of this towards the end of her life. She had to spend a lot of time within different parts of the NHS and all we ever wanted was for her to get the best possible care at every stage.
  12. Content Article
    This document provides hospital and health system administrators and leaders with: specific improvement ideas for five system-level strategies that address the challenges of preventing, identifying and treating opioid use disorder brief case examples describing other hospitals’ approaches source literature and additional resources, including cost savings data, where applicable.
  13. News Article
    A hospital has been fined £45,000 after the death of a leukaemia patient who was given five times the amount of drugs she needed. Royal Bournemouth Hospital Trust ignored repeated warnings from inspectors raising concerns about the unit where the 80-year-old patient, who was taking part in a clinical trial, was given the wrong dose on two separate occasions. The trust was fined at Bournemouth Crown Court on Monday after pleading guilty in August to supplying a medicinal product that was not of the nature or quality demanded. Investigations revealed that, while staff spotted the incorrect dosage, they were wrongly told it was fine, meaning the pensioner, who was terminally ill, was given five times the prescribed amount over four days rather than a lower dose over 10 days. An investigation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) found staff were working “beyond capacity”. Inspections in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017 all found the unit was running over capacity and highlighted it as an issue that urgently needed addressing to prevent any mistakes being made. Read full story Source: The Independent, 12 December 2019
  14. News Article
    Stakeholders from across various sectors in Australia attended a medicine safety forum convened in Canberra on Monday. Held by the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF), Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA), the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA), NPS MedicineWise and academic partners Monash University and University of Sydney, the forum challenged participants to ‘think differently’ on the safe use of medicines in Australia. This included brainstorming on what success in improving medicine safety would look like in 10 years. “Medicine safety is a priority for us all and we each have a role to play,” PSA National President Associate Professor Chris Freeman said. “It was inspiring to see the sector work together today to proactively identify those measures we can cooperatively pursue to make a real difference and protect patients.” Read full story Source: AJP.com.au
  15. Content Article
    This webpage includes: an easy read leaflet about STOMP video challenging behaviour resources online medication pathway for family carers resources for healthcare professionals.
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