Stephanie Uses, PharmD, MJ, JD (Patient Safety Analyst, ECRI Institute), Lynn Razzano, RN, MSN, ONCC (Clinical Nurse Consultant, PPAHS), and Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, PPAHS) recently wrote "5 Steps for Preventing Opioid Harm to Patients."
The five steps are measures that clinicians can proactively take to reduce the risk of adverse events related to patients receiving opioids:
1. Detecting Patient Deterioration as Early as Possible
2. Monitoring with Capnography
3. Ensuring Highest Risk Patients are Monitored
4. Utilizing Reminder Alerts to Monitor Patients
5. Empowering Nurses to Drive the Protocol
Uses, Razzano, and Wong write:
"As the 2016 Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for Healthcare Organizations points out: 'Patients receiving opioids are at risk for respiratory depression, which, if it goes unnoticed, can lead to brain injury or death. In some reported events, staff avoided formally assessing patients' sedation levels because they appeared to be sleeping, but in reality, they were experiencing the progression to respiratory depression.'
"Continuous electronic monitoring provides real-time evaluation, patient assessment and whether these patients are suffering respiratory compromise due to oversedation from opioids.
"Ideally, the clinical decision to monitor or not monitor patients receiving opioids with the available technology of pulse oximetry (for oxygenation) and capnography (for ventilation adequacy) should not be an option. However, hospital resource constraints may pose impediments to monitoring all patients receiving opioids."
For a complete discussion of these five steps, please click here.
About Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety
Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety is a non-profit 501(c)(3) whose mission is to promote safer clinical practices and standards for patients through collaboration among healthcare experts, professionals, scientific researchers, and others, in order to improve health care delivery. For more information, please go to www.ppahs.org
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SOURCE Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS)