Can Pharmaceuticals Legally Sell Drugs?

This is the question that I asked myself (yet again) when I read that two major pharmaceuticals have (yet again) evidenced that the only way that pharmaceuticals seem able to sell durgs is by doing something illegal. Amgen recently plead guilty to illegally marketing Aranesp for off-label uses and will pay $150 million in criminal … Continue reading

Three Lessons Pain Management Teaches Us About Patient Adherence

(This article was first published in the Journal of Patient Compliance; see page 12.) Pain medication is an anomaly in patient adherence. Here the concern is with taking too much and not often enough, which is the usual problem faced in getting patients to take their medication. A common reason why patients seek medical advice … Continue reading

Is going part-way for patient safety good enough?

This is the question that I have been asking myself ever since the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety posted an article encouraging Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to include continuous electronic monitoring of patients using patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pumps. “Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) pumps” says Pat Iyer, president of www.avoidmedicalerrors.com, “were developed to address … Continue reading

Four Technology Recommendations to Reduce Alarm Fatigue

This article is reprinted with the permission of Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare (PSQH).  Improving patient safety is one of the most urgent issues facing healthcare today. PSQH is written for and by people who are involved directly in improving patient safety and the quality of care. According to ECRI Institute, an independent, nonprofit organization that researches … Continue reading

What have you done for patient safety?

Each year, Harvard University hosts one of the leading forums on patient safety, quality enhancement and medical error reduction. This year I attended the forum, The Eleventh National Quality Colloquium, to present on the PCA Safety Checklist, which I developed with a team of health experts and targets use of patient-controlled analgesia (PCA). The PCA Safety Checklist supports … Continue reading

Patient Safety Checklist Helps Address Opioid Warnings from TJC: Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety checklist supports Sentinel Event Alert on opioid hazards

This article is a reprinted with the permission of Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare (PSQH).  Improving patient safety is one of the most urgent issues facing healthcare today. PSQH is written for and by people who are involved directly in improving patient safety and the quality of care. By Sean Power and Michael Wong On August 8, … Continue reading

Drug Sales Reps Need New Tools

In a recent Insight Report, “In India, gift-giving drives drug makers’ marketing”, Reuters reports: Sales representatives for Abbott Laboratories Inc’s Indian subsidiaries know what it takes to get a doctor to prescribe the drugs they market: a coffee maker, perhaps, or some cookware, or maybe a vacuum cleaner. These are among the many gifts for … Continue reading

Should Safety Checklist be a Standard of Care?

Recently, the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS), an advocacy group devoted to improving patient health and safety which I founded, announced the release of a concise safety checklist that reminds caregivers of the essential steps needed to be taken to initiate Patient-Controlled Analgesia (PCA) with a patient and to continue to assess that patient’s … Continue reading

3 Risks with Managing Pain with Patient-Controlled Analgesia (PCA) Pumps

According to reports made to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) between 2005 and 2009, more than 56,000 adverse events and 700 patient deaths were linked to patient-controlled analgesia (PCA). One out of 378 post-surgical patients are harmed or die from errors related to the patient-controlled pumps that help relieve pain after surgical procedures, such as … Continue reading

Is Saving One Life at a Time Worth It?

Interns with A Promise to Amanda Foundation (www.promisetoamanda.org) think so. This Foundation was established by Cindy and Brian Abbiehl in memory and honor of Amanda. As they describe: Amanda “was admitted to a local hospital on Thursday, July 15, of 2010.  She was dehydrated, had lost at least 10 pounds, and had a virus that was … Continue reading