Patient Safety Weekly Must Reads (November 18, 2016)

This week in #patientsafety, we shared our findings from our survey on responses to the Surgeon General’s letter on the opioid epidemic and put venous thromboembolism in the spotlight with a new partnership with World Thrombosis Day. From around the web, a mother penned an article about the tragic and preventable death of her son, Minnesota respiratory therapists are recognized for implementing a program to detect respiratory depression at St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, MN, and the ECRI Institute released its top ten healthcare technology hazards of 2017 (undetected opioid-induced respiratory depression yet again makes the top five).


Physicians on Surgeon General’s Letter on Opioid Epidemic: Survey Results. In August, the Surgeon General issued a letter to physicians urging them to take a part in combating the opioid epidemic. We conducted a survey to gauge reactions to the Surgeon General’s appeal.

Physician-Patient Alliance Partners with World Thrombosis Day. We’ve been invited to become a partner of World Thrombosis Day. We share a common objective in improving outcomes for patients at risk of thrombosis, so we are looking forward to working together to help prevent VTE. It is too common, especially among stroke victims, expectant mothers, and orthopedic patients, and that needs to change.

From Around the Web:

My Son Did Not Have to Die. Pamela Parker, BSN, RN, CAPA, wants her 17-year-old son Logan’s story to inspire safer patient care. Logan underwent successful surgery only to experience life-ending hypoxia at home after receiving IV morphine in the PACU and being discharged 15 minutes after his last dose.

Minnesota RTs Help Implement Continuous Capnography Program. Hospitals are realizing the benefits of continuous capnography and its ability to provide early detection of respiratory depression. Respiratory therapists are essential in the effort to make care safer. At St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, MN, where RT Department Director Peggy Lange, BA, RRT, says therapists are making a difference.

ECRI out with 10 deadly healthcare technology hazards for 2017. Infusion errors tops the list despite today’s pumps featuring safety mechanisms. Undetected opioid-induced respiratory depression (OIRD) is listed as number four. ECRI recommends continuous electronic monitoring to detect OIRD – for a podcast with ECRI’s Patient Safety Analyst, Stephanie Uses, PharmD, MJ, JD, please click here.

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