ASA is sharing with its members information about the latest MEDMARX®
report, released March 6, 2007 by U.S. Pharmacopeia. It looks at medication errors reported from 1998-2005 in the perioperative setting. The report makes several recommendations for improving patient safety, including some already being undertaken by ASA. Information about the report may be viewed at www.usp.org. Members may view an Executive Summary under Member News in the ASA Members Only Section
. Find out how to order the full report
Anesthesiologists are specifically mentioned in the report as having made great strides in improving patient safety for many decades. “ASA continues to be involved in many activities--including education, research and promulgation of guidelines and standards— always with the goal of advancing patient safety,” said ASA president Mark J. Lema, M.D., PhD.
Most recently ASA has been working as a leader with other medical and clinical organizations through such groups as the Surgical Care Improvement Project and the AMA Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement. One of the items already being addressed is that of the timing of antibiotic administration, which is mentioned in the MEDMARX®
The report contains data on 221,000 medication errors from 590 facilities and takes a closer look at 11,000 errors with breakdowns according to type of error, setting (i.e., pre-op or O.R.). It breaks down 1,799 cases according to staff responsible. Only about 3 percent of the errors were attributable to anesthesia providers. Many of the errors did not actually affect the patient, and others were caught in time to prevent serious harm. Of the 221,000 errors reported, 17 resulted in death.
ASA is committed to continuing to work in a teamwork environment with other health care providers to ensure optimal care of our patients. According to Dr. Lema, “As the perioperative physicians who care for patients before, during and after surgery, we will take the new data and recommendations into full consideration for future actions related to medication error prevention.”
ASA member Peter Pronovost, M.D, PhD, medical director of the Center for Innovations in Quality Patient Care, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, was one of the experts who helped to prepare the MEDMARX report.