Preventing adverse drug events requires pharmacist involvement

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

May 13, 2015

Adverse drug events (ADE) make up an overwhelming number of healthcare-acquired conditions (HAC), but prevention efforts are often overshadowed by more pressing and more regulated needs surrounding healthcare –acquired infections (HAI).

According to an interim report published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), HAC rates saw a 17% decline from 2010 to 2013. The largest chunk of that (44%) was attributed to ADEs, translating to 11,500 averted deaths. While those numbers show existing initiatives to reduce readmissions and improve quality care can have a parallel impact on ADEs, more work is needed to improve the overall approach toward medication management, says Steven M. Riddle, PharmD, BCPS, FASHP, director of clinical development for Pharmacy OneSource/Wolters Kluwer Health headquartered in Philadelphia. In a recent blog post, Riddle called on pharmacists to play a larger role in preventing ADEs, similar to the way infection preventionists have taken command of HAI reduction.

Patient Safety Monitor Journal spoke with Riddle about why pharmacists may be underutilized in patient safety efforts and how they can make a bigger impact in reducing ADEs.

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