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Medication Safety

Medication administration in pediatrics is a complex process. From poor labeling to complicated dilution calculations, there are too many opportunities for medication errors.

NICHQ has always placed patient safety at the forefront of the many healthcare issues it takes on. In this section, clinicians can find a “how-to-guide” to reduce the rate of medication errors and adverse drug events, as well as several tools to use in their clinical setting.

Pediatric Adverse Drug Events (ADE) Trigger Tool

A study published in the April 2008 issue of Pediatrics found that a new "trigger tool" dramatically increased the detection of adverse drug events in hospital settings. With this tool, the authors found 11.1 adverse drug events per 100 admissions, a much higher rate than previous studies found.

Twelve children’s hospitals, convened through the Child Health Corporation of America (CHCA), worked to adapt the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Adverse Drug Event (ADE) Trigger Tool for adults to more appropriately and accurately detect adverse drug events in pediatric hospital settings. The new Pediatric Adverse Drug Events (ADE) Trigger Tool can be found on CHCA's site.

Experts from the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) provided both improvement and safety expertise in support of a CHCA collaborative improvement program to reduce the frequency of these events in pediatric hospitals.

NICHQ applauds the efforts of the investigators and the leadership of CHCA for creating this pediatric tool. NICHQ endorses the widespread use of the tool to detect these events as part of a comprehensive pediatric safety program.

Medication Safety Tools for Pediatric Clinical Settings

As part of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) 5 Million Lives Campaign, NICHQ facilitated the pediatric node, known as The Pediatric Affinity Group. The Pediatric Affinity Group created tools to provide support for the pediatric community and to help build a robust knowledge exchange with the aim of purging harm from children’s healthcare. These tools are supplements that adapt the IHI How-to-Guides to pediatric settings.

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