Hospital Engagement Networks Report Successes in Decreasing Adverse Drug Events

According to a June article at, Partnership for Patients network participants are reporting a reduction of more than 40 percent in the rate of adverse drug events (ADEs).


One network participant reported a 65 percent decrease in the rate of hypoglycemia events, while another reported a 62 percent aggregate rate reduction.


Other participants reported adverse drug event reductions ranging from 43 to 59 percent.


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) started the Partnership for Patients in April 2011, setting two goals it wanted participants to meet by the end of 2013. The first goal was a 40 percent decrease in preventable conditions acquired in hospitals and the second was a 20 percent reduction in complication-related hospital readmissions.


The 2013 goals were to be compared to 2010 rates of adverse drug events.


One of the participants found that, of the 1,700 physicians and nurses who took an 11-question, multiple choice self-assessment query, many were “unknowledgeable…about opioids,” calling the results of the self-assessment “somewhat eye-opening.”


The reduction in the rate of ADE was attributed by one hospital network participant to its “formation of a statewide coalition of pharmacists.”


In order to ascertain how many ADEs occur – and then reduce their occurrence – hospitals need to know or define two things, according to the article:


  • What actually constitutes an ADE and
  • The “consequences” of “pursuing ADEs and preventing them” because a program to reduce the occurrence of ADEs can actually increase the number of ADEs reported due to heightened awareness.

For its end-of-2013 goals, Partnership for Patients determined six medications or classes of medications (hypoglycemic agents, digoxin, low-molecular-weight heparin, factor Xa inhitibor, i.v. heparin, and warfarin) were linked to a total of 50 ADEs per 1,000 discharges. Hypoglycemic agents accounted for more than 50 percent of these ADEs.


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