Weekly Must-Reads in Patient Safety and Health Care (October 23, 2015) – Two-Time Stroke Survivor Hopes to Teach Others About F.A.S.T.

This week’s must-reads feature articles about multiple patient safety touchpoints, from an inspiring article about Catherine Zalewski, a 33-year-old mother of two, former Mrs. New Jersey and certified personal trainer, and two-time stroke survivor who is raising awareness for World Stroke Day, to a new report that pharmacist intervention can help reduce readmissions through postdischarge outreach phone calls.

The theme of this week’s must-reads is that patient safety can and is being improved at multiple touchpoints.

FAST stroke intervention
Source: http://www.cmhshealth.org/newsbites-archive/stroke-aware/images/5713fast.jpg

Catherine Hopes Her Tale Teaches Others F.A.S.T.

Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, penned this article on Huffington Post about an inspirational two-time stroke survivor. The emphasis is on women, underscoring that women face higher risk of stroke than men, that more women die each year from stroke, and that women are less likely than men to receive the acute care and rehab they need.

Stroke is the number 2 killer worldwide and number 5 killer of Americans.

To help address blood clots, PPAHS has released OB VTE Safety Recommendations and Stroke VTE Safety Recommendations.

Pharmacist Intervention Can Help Reduce Readmissions

A pharmacist-led intervention featuring three outreach phone calls in the 30-day postdischarge period helped reduce patients’ readmissions and ED visits, according to a study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

The report found that 39% of patients who received only one postdischarge call at the end of the 30-day time frame were either readmitted to the hospital or visited the ED within 30 days of discharge. By comparison, 24.8% of patients who received three phone calls, at days 3, 14, and 30 postdischarge, had a readmission or ED visit.”

Pediatric Patients Prescribed More Opioids Than Needed After Surgery

Nearly 60 percent of opioids dispensed to pediatric patients following surgery remained unused, according to a study presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY 2015 annual meeting, which could lead to the unused medication being abused by other adolescents in the household.

“’We not only found that some physicians inadvertently may be prescribing more medicine than is being used or needed, but the majority of unused opioids are not being disposed of properly at home,’ said Myron Yaster, M.D., professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine and Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore.”

Preventable Medical Error is Canadian Health Care’s Silent Killer

Kathleen Finlay, founder and CEO of The Center for Patient Protection, authored a commentary on the state of the Canadian health care system.

In Canada, medical errors and hospital-acquired infections claim between 30,000 and 60,000 lives annually. Canada’s population is about one-tenth that of the United States.

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