ADE trigger tool results show medication-related harm is common in hospitals

15 Aug 2017 | Medication Safety

A paper published in the New Zealand Medical Journal describes a study to identify the extent of medication-related harm in New Zealand using a ‘trigger tool’, which is a method designed to identify harm from reviewing medical records, rather than relying on voluntary reporting.

The results show medication-related harms are common – for every 100 hospital admissions, over 30 patients suffer medication-related harm. Whilst most were minor (61 percent), more than a third (35 percent) prompted admission to hospital or prolonged the hospital stay, and 1.6 percent were associated with permanent harm or death.

Opioids and blood thinners were the medication classes responsible for most harm (40 percent) and the most severe harm. This information helps target medication safety improvement efforts to reduce harm. The datasets from six anonymised district health boards were included, totalling 2,659 reviews. This is a relatively small sample size and more research is required.

If you have any queries about the specifics of the paper, please contact Carl Shuker or Billy Allan.

Read the article here on the New Zealand Medical Journal's website.

Last updated 27/09/2017