Top 10 Opioid Safety Articles in 2014

Of the more than 125 articles we posted in 2014, below are 10 of the most read and most discussed articles on opioid safety (order is by publication date).

As you read through these articles, please ask yourself – has a new standard of care been established requiring continuous electronic monitoring by hospitals of all patients receiving opioids?

  1. PPAHS Joins Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation in Call for a “Paradigm Shift” in Opioid Safety (February 19, 2014)“It’s time for a change in how we monitor postoperative patients receiving opioids,” declares Dr. Robert Stoelting, president of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF). “We need a complete paradigm shift in how we approach safer care for postoperative patients receiving opioids.”To view the APSF video, please click on the image below:APSF Video
  2. Opioid Safety Experts Say Continuous Monitoring of Post-Surgical Patients Receiving Opioids Should Be Universal Standard (May 14, 2014)

Continuous electronic monitoring of patients receiving opioids to manage their pain after surgery should be a universal standard of care, leading opioid safety experts said during a recent webinar hosted by Premier Safety Institute as part of their Advisor Live series.

“There is no doubt that patients who have either sedation or postoperative pain management do require some sort of monitoring,” said Bhavani S. Kodali, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

  1. Identifying Patients at Risk for Postsurgical Opioid-Related Adverse Events (June 3, 2014)

What if there existed a way for perioperative nurses to identify patients at high risk of experiencing opioid-related adverse events?

This was the question and research answer that Laura Menditto, MPH, MBA (Independent Health Outcomes Research Consultant, Laura A Menditto LLC ) and her colleagues presented at the annual conference of Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN).

  1. What Does New CMS Guidance on Monitoring Post-Operative Patients Receiving Opioids Mean for Hospital Practice? (July 15, 2014)

New guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recommends “monitoring of patients receiving opioids … [this is] a signal that CMS is perhaps moving towards a future quality measure calling for continuous electronic monitoring of patients receiving opioids. If so, because of the time, expense, and training involved in implementing technology, hospitals should take heed and prepare themselves for being so measured.”

  1. “Keep It On” Campaign: 8 Tips for Ensuring Children are Monitored Safely (September 25, 2014)

Although Lynn Razzano, clinical nurse consultant, wrote this article in memory of a one-year old boy who suffered from leukemia, there are lessons for caring for all patients – not just children – in the “Keep It On” Campaign.

  1. Monitoring for Respiratory Compromise to Detect Cardiac Arrest (October 7, 2014)

In his op-ed, Lakshmipathi Chelluri, MD, MPH (Professor, Department of Critical Care Medicine, Co-chair, P&T Committee, UPMC Presbyterian, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine), asks a great question “Preventable In-Hospital Cardiac Arrests―Are We Monitoring the Wrong Organ?”

To help prevent the onset of cardiac arrest, Dr. Chelluri suggests that clinicians should be monitoring for respiratory compromise as a key trigger or potential alert for cardiac arrest.

  1. Sleep Apnea + Opiods = Post-Surgical Preventable Death (October 14, 2014)

Patricia LaChance, whose husband died after routine shoulder surgery, poignantly discusses this frightful formula – Sleep Apnea + Opiods = Post-Surgical Preventable Death

Please click on the picture to view the video about John.
Please click on the picture to view the video about John.

Kenneth P. Rothfield, M.D., M.B.A. echoes the dangers of risk stratification of patients with sleep apnea (which Patricia’s husband was) in his article, “Risk Stratification of Sleep Apnea Patients – A Recipe for Death?

And, for another story of medical error, Annette Smith looks for answers about her father’s death – “Medical Error Takes a Father’s Life: A Daughter’s Plea for Answers”.

  1. A Decade of Excellence: Hospital Celebrates 10 “Event Free” Years of Patient Safety (October 14, 2014)

In a testament to the efficacy of monitoring patients receiving opioids, St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital celebrated 10 “event free” years of patient safety.

Thank you to Harold Oglesby (Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT), Manager, The Center for Pulmonary Health, Candler Hospital, and St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System), who is on our advisory board, and his team for this incredible achievement!

  1. Medical standards of care and the Joan Rivers death (November 7, 2014)

When medical tragedies occur, such as the death of Joan Rivers, one of the very first questions asked by patients, families, the legal system, the press, and the public is: “were appropriate care standards met?”

Joan Rivers - she made us laugh
Joan Rivers – she made us laugh

This article by Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety), Frank Overdyk, MSEE, MD  (Professor of Anesthesiology, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine), Lynn Razzano, RN, MSN, ONCC (Clinical Nurse Consultant, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety), Kenneth P. Rothfield, MD, MBA (System Chief Medical Officer, St. Vincent’s Healthcare) looks the different standards of medical organizations for monitoring patients receiving opioids.

  1. Patient Stories Shared at First Meeting of National Coalition to Promote Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids (November 26, 2014)

Was a new standard of care set at the first meeting of the National Coalition to Promote Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids?

This meeting was convened by 17 leading national healthcare organizations and patient safety advocacies including The Joint Commission, which accredits and certifies more than 20,500 health care organizations and programs in the United States, and attended by more than 50 key health organizations.

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