Thursday, December 01, 2011

Good study. Bad access.

The AHRQ Patient Safety Network is a great site for keeping up to date on research in the field.  Here is an example of an article of interest, "Medication errors during patient transitions into nursing homes: characteristics and association with patient harm."

Here's a portion of the abstract:

This study analyzed medication errors reported by North Carolina nursing homes to describe specific errors that occurred during patient transitions to nursing homes. Of the nearly 30,000 individual medication errors reported, 11% involved a care transition. Notably, the transition-related errors were also associated with higher odds of patient harm. Contributing factors to the transition-related reports included problems with staff communication, order transcription, medication availability, and pharmacy issues. The authors highlight the opportunities for medication safety during this high-risk transition period for patients.

Unfortunately, like so many others, The American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy will not permit you to read the article without a subscription or paying for the single article ($31.50),  and the AHRQ can't get you past that paywall from their site.  A shame.  I bet it has some useful things to say that would be of broad interest to hospital case managers and others involved in transition of care issues.


Barry Carol said...

Paul –

I’m retiring at the end of this year yet I still plan to pay for a subscription to Health Affairs out of my own pocket because I’m interested in the content. My employer pays for it now. For a hospital or insurance company that thinks this article could be of value to its case managers, $31.50 is hardly an insurmountable barrier to access.

Paul Levy said...

I think e-Patient Dave would respond, "But what about family members of patients who would also find this, and other articles, of value, and help enable them to be better partners in the care-giving?"

Some journals allow articles to be in the public domain after some period of time to permit a broader audience to benefit from them.