Patient Safety

3 Consumer Resources for Opioid Safety

By Sean Power

Opioids–drugs such as oxycontin, vicodin, percocet, and fentanyl–have recently garnered mainstream attention as more people become dependent and addicted to the painkiller in epidemic proportions. Perhaps it is because 1 in 5 become long-term users of opioids with a 10-day supply; perhaps because sales of prescription opioids in the U.S. nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2014; or, perhaps simply because chronic opioid use often begins with opioid usage for acute (short-term) pain–whatever the reason, the opioid epidemic is front and centre in public health discourse. Read More

Must Reads

Patient Safety Weekly Must Reads (June 3, 2017) Tools to enhance patient safety

This week’s must reads focus on patient safety tools.

This week in #patientsafety, PPAHS announced our position that all patients receiving opioids must be monitored with capnography. From around the web, the American Journal of Nursing summarized venous thromboembolism (blood clots) guidelines from American College of Chest Physicians, Ontario released a dataset and tool to explore opioid-related morbidity and mortality, and Pain Medicine News discussed a researcher’s exploration of alternatives to opioids. Read More

Must Reads

Patient Safety Weekly Must Reads (May 27, 2017)

This week in #patientsafety, PPAHS archived select articles that we were able to get featured on Advance for Nurses. From around the web, Italy’s lawmakers recognized patient safety as a fundamental right, Health Quality Ontario released a report on opioids in the Canadian province, and research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine shows earlier is better when it comes to sepsis treatment. Read More

Must Reads

Patient Safety Weekly Must Reads (May 20, 2017)

This week in #patientsafety, PPAHS offered a look at the differences in anesthesiology standards between hospital and outpatient settings. From around the web, an infographic on blood clots, a look at how medical students are trained on the opioid crisis, and an alert in a small Canadian town experiencing the worst of the opioid epidemic. Read More

Opioid Safety

Patient Safety Weekly Must Reads (May 13, 2017)

This week in #patientsafety, PPAHS featured a video about Tyler, an 18-year-old who survived the surgery for a collapsed lung but not the recovery. He was receiving opioids via PCA pump and was found dead in bed. From around the web, two Canadian patient safety organizations are trying to measure patient harm in hospitals, a biochemist from the University of Colorado looks at NSAIDs and sepsis, and an answer to whether a stroke patient should be driven to the hospital. Read More

Must Reads

Patient Safety Weekly Must Reads (April 29, 2017)

This week in #patientsafety, PPAHS featured a new report by the Respiratory Compromise Institute on preventing respiratory compromise. From around the web, a study shows voluntary participation in checklists can reduce post-surgery deaths, a look at the demographics of opioid use, and a look at challenges faced by CIOs in improving opioid safety. Read More

Must Reads

Patient Safety Weekly Must Reads (April 22, 2017)

This week in #patientsafety, PPAHS offered a response to a question about whether a patient is right to be worried about receiving opioids after surgery. From around the web, a study in JAMA Surgery on when long-term opioid use starts, a doctor offers advice on how to have difficult conversations about opioids, and a look at the leading role played by nurses in patient safety.

From PPAHS:

Opioid Safety After Surgery. “I’m going to have surgery soon and I have been told I will be given an opioid medication to control the pain after the operation. But I see stories of people getting hooked on opioids all over the news, and I’m scared to take them. Am I right to be worried?” Read our response.

From Around the Web:

Long-Term Opioid Use Can Start After Surgery, New Study Shows. A study in JAMA Surgery suggests that many people start long-term opioid use after doctors prescribe them the drugs to relieve post-surgical pain.

Prescribing opioids safely: How to have difficult patient conversations. Building a strong doctor-patient rapport can help facilitate conversations with patients about opioid prescriptions and reduce risks that could lead to malpractice suits, says the author.

Nurses Drive Change in Patient Safety Improvements. A look at nurses as changemakers for patient safety at hospitals.

Opioid Safety

Opioid Safety After Surgery

“I’m going to have surgery soon and I have been told I will be given an opioid medication to control the pain after the operation. But I see stories of people getting hooked on opioids all over the news, and I’m scared to take them. Am I right to be worried?”

Paul Taylor, patient navigation advisor at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, recently fielded this question in a special to the Globe and Mail. The answer recommended that concerns about opioids be “kept in perspective” and that they can be extremely useful in managing short-term pain, noting that “problems can arise when patients end up on the drugs for longer than is necessary.” The addictive properties of opioids are indeed reason for concern.

We wanted to add an additional perspective, particularly on safe use of opioids for acute pain after surgery, especially while patients are still in the hospital receiving care. Read More

Must Reads

Patient Safety Weekly Must Reads (April 15, 2017)

Great news–our video last week was watched over 25,000 times! Let’s keep working to transform that awareness into progress for patient safety.

This week in #patientsafety, PPAHS Founder and Executive Director Michael Wong, JD, penned an article for Healthcare Business Today on what makes “good” hospital leadership. From around the web, a study looks at the relationship between readmission rates and caregiver involvement in discharge discussions. Another study looks at factors associated with alarm response time. And a doctor asks if her peers have noticed an increase in inquiries about NSAIDs with growing awareness of the opioid epidemic.

From PPAHS:

“Good” Hospitals Require Real Leaders. How can you tell the difference between a “good” hospital and a “bad” one?

From Around the Web:

Study: To reduce readmissions, involve caregivers in discharge planning. A study finds that involving caregivers in discharge discussions was associated with a 25% reduction in the likelihood of an elderly patient being readmitted to the hospital within 90 days of discharge.

Video Analysis of Factors Associated With Response Time to Physiologic Monitor Alarms in a Children’s Hospital. Nurses who responded faster included those who were earlier in their shifts, had less than 1 year of experience, previously responded to an alarm requiring intervention, were caring for only 1 patient, and were responding to an alarm for lethal arrhythmia.

More information on NSAIDs & CV risk. A doctor looks at research on the cardiovascular risks of NSAIDs as patients appear to ask about them more frequently.