Fatalities From Medication Errors at Home Up Dramatically - DecisionHealth Offers Solutions

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Over the past two decades, medication errors have dramatically increased. DecisionHealth, a leading news and information source, offers U.S. hospitals solutions to potentially harmful medication errors.

Many, but not all organizations have made the commitment and are on track to make medication therapy a more precise and safer part of patient care. But there also is a lot of work yet to be done to make this safer environment a nationwide experience.

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Medication errors causing fatalities, such as actor Health Ledger's recent drug overdose, increased dramatically over the past two decades, according to a recent report published in the July 28 Archives of Internal Medicine. Most of the blame is attributed to the increased home use of prescription pain killers and other drugs, which used to be given inside hospitals.

These findings increase the burden on hospitals to make sure medication lists are properly reconciled upon patient discharge, and to educate discharged patients on the proper use and dosage of such drugs.

DecisionHealth, a leading source for healthcare solutions, analysis and instructional guidance with an emphasis on patient safety, accreditation and compliance, provides these and other medication safety solutions to the forefront with the Medication Management Error Elimination Summit, November 19-21, 2008, the only conference focused on making medication safety part of a hospital's culture.

Led by nationally known experts and hospital safety officials, the Medication Management Error Elimination Summit comprehensively covers all major aspects of medication safety, including both medication reconciliation and medication administration, with additional sessions on medication storage, high-risk medications, medication safety in the emergency department, and others.

The conference includes a site visit to Baltimore's Mercy Medical Center, a leader in medication safety, where attendees will not only meet with the hospital's medication safety team and have their questions answered, but will tour the hospital's medication safety sites.

Kurt Patton, The Joint Commission's former Executive Director of Accreditation Services, who is speaking at the conference, states: "Many, but not all organizations have made the commitment and are on track to make medication therapy a more precise and safer part of patient care. But there also is a lot of work yet to be done to make this safer environment a nationwide experience."

Healthcare professionals who attend the Medication Management Error Elimination Summit will learn:

  •      What's behind The Joint Commission medication reconciliation goals - presented by JCAHO's former executive director of accreditation, Kurt Patton
  •      How one hospital successfully turned its culture around so that medication safety is now part and parcel of everything it does
  •      How to comprehensively reconcile medications at admission, at patient hand-offs, and at discharge
  •      How to handle medication safety in the emergency room - from William Churchill, executive director of pharmacy services at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital
  •      The pluses and minuses of bar code scanning: Is it really worth it?
  •      Plus: How to safely administer high risk medications, handle look alike/sound alike medications, hear actual case studies, and much more.

For more information on DecisionHealth's Medication Management Error Elimination Summit, on November 19-21 at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards, call 866-620-5939 or visit http://www.decisionhealth.com/mmee2009.

About DecisionHealth®
DecisionHealth serves the clinical, business and regulatory needs of health care practitioners, providers and their administrative staff nationwide. For more than 20 years, DecisionHealth has served as the industry's leading source for news, analysis and instructional guidance with brand names such as Inside the Joint Commission, Environment of Care Leader, and Part B News. Our unique blend of award-winning information specialist, in-house journalists and unmatched access to health care executives, providers and their staffs results in news, analysis and solutions that has captured the attention of nearly 100,000 healthcare readers. http://www.DecisionHealth.com.

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Robert Sperber
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