Monday, April 5, 2010

The Issues Surrounding Medication Management

The Institute of Medicine noted that a hospital patient on average is subject to at least one medication error per day, making medication errors the most common cause of preventable adverse events.

Last week it was announced that the Medication Management Research Network at the University at Buffalo's New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences has a new role in preventing errors.  The organization is helping to improve patient safety in Western New York and was recently designated by the federal government as a Patient Safety Organization.  Click here to read more about this announcement.

The INQRI program is deeply committed to investigating the issues surrounding medication management.  We have funded three projects focused on different aspects of this work:
"Examining the Impact of Nursing Structures and Processes on Medication Errors"

Rutgers University
Dr. Linda Flynn and Dr. Dong Suh

This interdisciplinary study was designed to disentangle the effects of nursing structures and care processes on non-intercepted medication errors in acute care hospitals. The economic impact of non-intercepted medication errors was determined to explore the business case for evidence-based recommendations.

"Nursing-Pharmacy Collaboration on Medication Reconciliation: A Novel Approach to Information Management"

Johns Hopkins Hospital
Dr. Linda Costa and Dr. Robert Feroli

Deficits in communication across the continuum of care in regards to medication use can place patients at serious risk for harm. This interdisciplinary team examined how to economically support direct care providers in medication reconciliation in order to facilitate safe transition to and from hospital and community. The team evaluated the effectiveness of a nurse-pharmacist clinical information coordination team in improving drug information management on admission and discharge, quantified potential harm due to reconciliation failures, and determined cost-benefit related to averted harm.
"Empowering Home Care Nurses to Efficiently Resolve Medication Discrepancies"

Washington State University
Dr. Cynthia Corbett and Dr. Stephen Setter

To contribute to a better understanding of the potential for home care nurses to lead in the identification and resolution of medication discrepancies during transitions between hospital and home care providers, this team will conduct a clinical trial that investigates a new nurse-led, informatics-based intervention. They hypothesize that with this improvement in their environment, home care nurses already on staff can enhance patients' outcomes, reduce healthcare costs, and eliminate the need for duplicative services by external consultants or specialty providers.
Click here to read an INQRI research synthesis focusing on medication errors.

INQRI has also worked with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (GBMF) to explore the issues surrounding medication management.  In 2007, INQRI and GBMF hosted a day-long convening which brought researchers together with stakeholders to discuss the impact of medication errors. We have continued this investment with a series of webinars that began last October.  The next webinar will feature a participant from the 2007 meeting.  On April 14, Bruce Spurlock from Convergence Health will give an update about Beacon: the Bay Area Patient Safety Collaborative.

Click here to view the webinars from Fall 2009.
Click here to view the webinars from 2010 and register for those yet to come.

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