Welcome!

News Feed Item

Newly Published Survey Shows Drug Shortages Still Have Major Impact on Patient Care

Coalition publishes new evidence on the patient impact of drug shortages in U.S.

CHICAGO, Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to newly published results from a survey of pharmacy directors, drug shortages remain a serious problem for patient safety. Nearly half of the responding directors reported adverse events at their facilities due to drug shortages, including patient deaths.

The survey was conducted by Northwestern Medicine® researchers in partnership with MedAssets, as part of the MedAssets Pharmacy Coalition to better understand how drug shortages affect patient outcomes. The survey asked pharmacy directors from a variety of health care settings to supply information on drug shortage related patient complaints, adverse events, medication errors, patient outcomes, demographics and institutional costs. The survey's findings were detailed in, "Effects on Patient Care Caused by Drug Shortages: A Survey," a research article published in the November/December issue of the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy (JMCP).

"Drug shortages are the first thing I think about when I get up in the morning and it is the last thing on my mind when I go to bed at night," said Gary Fennessy, MBA, vice president of Operations for Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and co-author of the JMCP article. "This is not a problem that is going to go away on its own. Healthcare leaders must not lose sight of it as a major contributor to patient harm or consider its adverse effects inevitable."

In 2009, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists put drug shortage management guidelines in place for health care providers to try and minimize negative impacts patient care, and in 2011, following an Executive Order from President Barack Obama on reducing drug shortages, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) increased its efforts to prevent and resolve drugs shortages. While the FDA recently reported that the number of new shortages in 2012 was down to 117, from 251 in 2011, drug shortages are still having a major impact on patient care.

A common practice to help mitigate the problems caused by a drug shortage is to use an alternative medication when possible. Even when alternate medication can be used, there can be many unintended consequences and additional side effects. In general, drug shortages have been known to cause, or contribute to a variety of issues, which were also represented in the newly published survey responses including:

  • Medication errors (such as wrong dose, wrong drug, wrong frequency),
  • Increased institutional costs,
  • Cancelled care, and
  • Delayed treatment.

In addition to the more well-known impacts, the new JMCP article revealed that nearly 10 percent of the reported adverse patient outcomes were increased readmissions due to drug shortage related treatment failures. Thirty eight percent of the surveyed pharmacy directors also said their organization had received at least one patient complaint related to shortages, and of those respondents reporting the actual number of patient complaints about 20 percent reported a total of more than 10 complaints. The article's authors suggest that documented occurrence of increased readmission rates and the impact of drug shortage related patient complaints could affect health care reimbursements for providers in the future as part of the Affordable Care Act.

"This survey is the first that we are aware of to describe the effects that drug shortages have on patient complaints," said Despina Kotis, PharmD, director of pharmacy at Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and co-author of the JMCP article. "It clearly shows that patients are aware these shortages are happening and they are upset that their care is being adversely affected by them."

"Drug shortages have been a well known issue in patient care for nearly a decade," said Milena McLaughlin, PharmD, MSc, clinical pharmacist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, assistant professor at the Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy, and lead author of the JMCP article. "While some progress has been made, drug shortages continue to be problematic and our results help make it clear that this is still a major area for improvement in patient care."

The authors of the research article are:  Milena McLaughlin, PharmD, MSc (Northwestern Medicine and Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy); Despina Kotis, PharmD, (Northwestern Medicine); Kenneth Thomson, MBA (MedAssets); Michael Harrison, BS (MedAssets); Gary Fennessy, MBA (Northwestern Medicine); Michael Postelnick, BS (Northwestern Medicine); and Marc H. Scheetz, PharmD, MSc (Northwestern Medicine and Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy).

The MedAssets Pharmacy Coalition is comprised of individuals from several healthcare organizations and areas including acute care, non-acute care, management and industry. The Coalition was originally formed to discuss the appropriate use of medications, and then with the rising number of drugs shortages changed its focus to finding out how drug shortages affected patient outcomes.

About Northwestern Medicine®
Northwestern Medicine® is the collaboration between Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine around a strategic vision to transform the future of healthcare.  It encompasses the research, teaching and patient care activities of the academic medical center. Sharing a commitment to superior quality, academic excellence and patient safety, the organizations within Northwestern Medicine comprise more than 9,000 clinical and administrative staff, 3,100 medical and science faculty and 700 students. The entities involved in Northwestern Medicine remain separate organizations. Northwestern Medicine is a trademark of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and is used by Northwestern University.

About Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Northwestern Memorial is one of the country's premier academic medical center hospitals and is the primary teaching hospital of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Along with its Prentice Women's Hospital and Stone Institute of Psychiatry, the hospital has 1,705 affiliated physicians and 6,769 employees.  Northwestern Memorial is recognized for providing exemplary patient care and state-of-the art advancements in the areas of cardiovascular care; women's health; oncology; neurology and neurosurgery; solid organ and soft tissue transplants and orthopaedics.

Northwestern Memorial has nursing Magnet Status, the nation's highest recognition for patient care and nursing excellence. Northwestern Memorial ranks 6th in the nation in the U.S. News & World Report 2013-14 Honor Roll of America's Best Hospitals. The hospital is recognized in 14 of 16 clinical specialties rated by U.S. News and is No. 1 in Illinois and Chicago in U.S. News' 2013-14 state and metro rankings, respectively. For 14 years running, Northwestern Memorial has been rated among the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" guide by Working Mother magazine. The hospital is a recipient of the prestigious National Quality Health Care Award and has been chosen by Chicagoans as the Consumer Choice according to the National Research Corporation's annual survey for 15 consecutive years. 

About MedAssets
MedAssets (NASDAQ: MDAS) is a healthcare performance improvement company focused on helping providers realize financial and operational gains so that they can sustainably serve the needs of their community. More than 4,200 hospitals and 122,000 non-acute healthcare providers currently use the company's evidence-based solutions, best practice processes and analytics to help reduce the total cost of care, enhance operational efficiency, align clinical delivery, and improve revenue performance across the are continuum. For more information, please visit www.medassets.com.

SOURCE Northwestern Medicine

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Digitization is driving a fundamental change in society that is transforming the way businesses work with their customers, their supply chains and their people. Digital transformation leverages DevOps best practices, such as Agile Parallel Development, Continuous Delivery and Agile Operations to capitalize on opportunities and create competitive differentiation in the application economy. However, information security has been notably absent from the DevOps movement. Speed doesn’t have to negat...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, showed how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningful f...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...