Study: About 7% of Potential Adverse Drug Events Result in Actual Harm

November 21, 2012 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Approximately 7.5% of serious and life-threatening potential adverse drug events related to administration errors lead to patient harm, according to the results of a study published in the November 2012 issue of BMJ Quality & Safety. The study, which retrospectively reviewed 14,041 medication administration events, sought to determine how often serious or life-threatening medication administration errors with the potential to cause harm resulted in actual harm in the hospital setting. Of the 1,271medication administration errors discovered, 133 had the potential to cause serious or life-threatening harm and were considered serious or life-threatening potential adverse drug events. Clinical reviewers conducted detailed chart reviews of these potential adverse events to determine how many resulted in an actual adverse drug event.

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