Weekly Must Reads in Patient Safety (March 20, 2015)

Three main issues in this week’s must reads.

… but, first, a parent’s plight with alarm fatigue – it doesn’t just affect caregivers. If you don’t believe that, then this first-hand account from the parent of a sick baby should change the mind of any doubters that alarm fatigue is real – 14 days of muting and ignoring alarms.

1. March is DVT/Blood Clot Awareness Month

Hats off to @ClotBuster and to @LiverWife for tweeting that March is DVT/Blood ClotAwareness Month!

In recognition that this is DVT/Blood ClotAwareness Month, the National Blood Clot Alliance unveils a new public education campaign urging the public to learn about blood clot risks.

Why should we care about blood clots?

According to a recent study, the top five causes of maternal mortality in California are cardiovascular disease, preeclampsia or eclampsia, hemorrhage, venous thromboembolism, and amniotic fluid embolism. The researchers also found that 41 percent to 70 percent of these cases might be preventable

top 5 causes of maternal mortality in CA - cardiovascular disease, preeclampsia/eclampsia, hemorrhage, venous thromboembolism, and amniotic fluid embolism Click To Tweet

For tools that the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety has developed to help prevent blood clots, please see and download for free:

what are you doing to recognize that March is #DVT/#BloodClot Awareness month? Click To Tweet

2.  Managing Pain

If you would like a look at what the future may hold, check out this Outpatient Surgery article, in which leading pain management experts discuss why opioids are overused and what analgesic regimens might look like in the not-so-distant future.

In the meantime, patients can use this free mobile application that helps patients with chronic pain safely monitor their opioid use. Thanks to @OpioidManager for tweeting about it!

3.  Hospital-Acquired Conditions

Ever since January 1, 2015, when Medicare began penalizing hospitals as part of the first year of a federal penalty program aimed at reducing preventable harm and improving patient safety, hospital acquired conditions have been a major concern for hospitals.

People go to hospital for what ails them, not to acquire a new illness or life-threatening condition.

Although Minnesota hospitals report fewer deaths, they are seeing more errors, the most common of which involved pressure ulcers and retained foreign objects.

Echoing this Minnesota report, the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority reports the pressure ulcers remain a top concern for hospitals.

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