Patient Safety

Preventing medical errors during a transfer of care

A transfer of care can result in a medical error. In this joint article between the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety, Michael Wong, JD (Founder & Executive Director of the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety) and Stephen Routledge, MPH (Patient Safety Improvement Lead, Canadian Patient Safety Institute) discuss how medical errors during transfers of care can be prevented.

In particular, two key resources are referred to in the article.

First, understand medication regimens.

Patients’ non-adherence to physician-recommended medical treatment remains a persistent problem. It is estimated that 50 per cent of patients do not take their medications as prescribed. Here are five questions patients should ask their doctors about their medications:

5 Questions to Ask About Your Medications

5 Questions to Ask About Your Medications

Second, monitor for opioid-related adverse events. Patients are often sent home with patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pumps and opioids to manage pain.

most patients, opioid analgesics may be associated with adverse effects, the most serious effect being respiratory depression, which is generally preceded by sedation. The PCA Safety Checklist was developed by a panel of experts to reduce the risk of opioid-related adverse events occurring with the use of PCA:

PCA Safety Checklist

PCA Safety Checklist

To read the article, which was published in the December 2017 issue of Home & Long Term Care News, please click Preventing medical errors during a transfer of care.

Read this article for tips on preventing medical errors during a transfer of care.

Read this article for tips on preventing medical errors during a transfer of care.

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