Nav: Home

What impact do medication errors have on nursing home residents?

November 21, 2016

A new analysis points to surprisingly low rates of serious impacts from medication errors affecting nursing home residents, despite the fact that these errors remain fairly common. The investigators noted that it's unclear whether medication errors resulting in serious outcomes are truly infrequent or are under-reported due to the difficulty in ascertaining them. The findings are published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Medication errors can cause considerable harm, and older adults in nursing homes may be especially vulnerable. To assess the prevalence of medication errors leading to hospitalizations and deaths in nursing home residents, and to determine the factors associated with these errors, Joseph Ibrahim, MBBS, FRACP, PhD, an academic physician in geriatric medicine at Monash University in Australia, and his colleagues conducted a literature search of relevant studies published between 2000 and 2015. After identifying 11 studies, the researchers examined three types of medication errors: all medication errors, transfer-related medication errors, and potentially inappropriate medications.

Medication errors were common, involving 16 percent to 27 percent of residents in studies examining all types of medication errors. Transfer-related medication errors occurred in 13 percent to 31 percent of residents, while 75 percent of residents were prescribed at least one potentially inappropriate medication.

The team found that serious impacts of medication errors were surprisingly low, however, and they were reported in only zero to one percent of medication errors, with death being a rare event.

"This is an important step to addressing the global issue for improving the quality and safety of medications for older people," said Prof. Ibrahim. "Nursing homes should review their systems of care from prescribing to administration. Good practice requires using a team-based approach involving the resident, care and nursing staff, pharmacists, and medical practitioners."
-end-
Media interested in a copy of the study should contact sciencenewsroom@wiley.com.

Article: "A systematic review of the prevalence of medication errors resulting in hospitalization and death of nursing home residents. Noha Ferrah, Janaka J. Lovell, and Joseph E. Ibrahim. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society; Published Online: November 21, 2016 (DOI: 10.1111/jgs.14683).

URL Upon Publication: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/jgs.14683

Author Contact: Tania Ewing, at taniaewing@taniaewing.com or +61 408378422.

About the Journal

The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society is a comprehensive and reliable source of monthly research and information about common diseases and disorders of older adults. For more information, please visit http://wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/jgs.

About Wiley

Wiley, a global company, helps people and organizations develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, combined with our digital learning, assessment and certification solutions help universities, learned societies, businesses, governments and individuals increase the academic and professional impact of their work. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The company's website can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com.

Wiley

Related Medication Errors Articles:

Preventing medical communication errors
Structured tools can reduce 'end-of-round time compression' during multidisciplinary morning rounds in the hospital, according to a new study out of the University of Illinois at Chicago.
What impact do medication errors have on nursing home residents?
A new analysis points to surprisingly low rates of serious impacts from medication errors affecting nursing home residents, despite the fact that these errors remain fairly common.
Can an integrative medicine approach help prevent medical errors?
Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US according to a published estimate, but many could be prevented with a shift in the medical industry from a production-driven to an integrative model of healthcare.
Rx for better orthopaedic surgeons: Track their errors as well as their skills
In a small study to determine the best way to assess the operating skills of would-be orthopaedic surgeons, Johns Hopkins researchers found that tracking the trainees' performance on cadavers using step-by-step checklists and measures of general surgical skills works well but should be coupled with an equally rigorous system for tracking errors.
Study suggests medical errors now third leading cause of death in the US
Analyzing medical death rate data over an eight-year period, Johns Hopkins patient safety experts have calculated that more than 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical error in the US.
More Medication Errors News and Medication Errors Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans
More than test scores or good grades — what do kids need to prepare them for the future? This hour, guest host Manoush Zomorodi and TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, in and out of the classroom. Guests include educators Olympia Della Flora and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#535 Superior
Apologies for the delay getting this week's episode out! A technical glitch slowed us down, but all is once again well. This week, we look at the often troubling intertwining of science and race: its long history, its ability to persist even during periods of disrepute, and the current forms it takes as it resurfaces, leveraging the internet and nationalism to buoy itself. We speak with Angela Saini, independent journalist and author of the new book "Superior: The Return of Race Science", about where race science went and how it's coming back.