Alarm Fatigue, Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

10 Reminders to Ensure Safer Use of Patient-Controlled Analgesia

PCA-related device events are three times as likely to result in injury or death. As Tim Ritter (Senior Patient Safety Analyst, Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority) reminds us, “Over the six-year period from June 2004 to May 2010, data collected by Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority revealed that there were approximately 4,500 reports associated with PCA pumps. Moreover, U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Manufacturer and User Device Experience (MAUDE) database demonstrates that PCA-related device events are three times as likely to result in injury or death as reports of device events involving general-purpose infusion pumps.” Read More

Practices & Tips, Respiratory Compromise

5 Tips on How to Improve Patient Safety With the Help of Technology

by Michael Wong

(This article first appeared in Becker’s Clinical Quality & Infection Control.)

More than 10 years ago, the Institute of Medicine in its landmark report, “To Err is Human” pointed out that at least 44,000 people, and perhaps as many as 98,000 people, die in hospitals each year as a result of medical errors that could have been prevented. IOM therefore called for the building of a safer healthcare delivery system.

In 2009, ten years after the original IOM report, Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports, concluded in its report “To Err is Human – To Delay is Deadly”:

“Despite a decade of work, we have no reliable evidence that we are better off today. More than 100,000 patients still needlessly die every year in U.S hospitals and health-care settings …”

Implementing change to decrease adverse events and to increase patient safety can be difficult for hospitals and healthcare facilities to implement. But, improvements are possible. Here are five tips to get you started. Read More