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.
Is a popular painkiller hampering our ability to notice errors?
According to a new U of T study acetaminophen could be impeding error-detection in the brain.
Personality influences how one reacts to email errors
When reading emails, do you become the 'grammar police?' You no who you aer: the person who thinks its her job too catch every typo or gramatical errur?
Too many avoidable errors in patient care, says report
Avoidable harm to patients is still too high in healthcare in the UK and across the globe -- making safety a top healthcare priority for providers and policy makers alike.
Simple errors limit scientific scrutiny
Researchers have found more than half of the public datasets provided with scientific papers are incomplete, which prevents reproducibility tests and follow-up studies.
Study finds medication errors, adverse drug events in 1 out of 2 surgeries studied
The first study to measure the incidence of medication errors and adverse drug events during the perioperative period -- immediately before, during and right after a surgical procedure -- has found that some sort of mistake or adverse event occurred in every second operation and in 5 percent of observed drug administrations.

Related Medication Errors Reading:

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

Jumpstarting Creativity
Our greatest breakthroughs and triumphs have one thing in common: creativity. But how do you ignite it? And how do you rekindle it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on jumpstarting creativity. Guests include economist Tim Harford, producer Helen Marriage, artificial intelligence researcher Steve Engels, and behavioral scientist Marily Oppezzo.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".