With a $7 million grant, the Medical Center has established a center to reduce the risk of medication errors.
Provided by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the grant established the new Center of Excellence for Patient Safety Research and Practice, which includes physicians and researchers from multiple disciplines, including biostatistics and economics.
Sadly, medication errors are among the most common, said Brian L. Strom, director of the center. They account for more deaths each year than motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer or HIV infection.
The center, which began operations in September, will examine the clinical and societal reasons for often-fatal medication errors like those that affected patients at St. Agnes Medical Center recently. The center recognizes that these errors arise not only during professional diagnosing and administering, but also from patients poor adherence to a set drug regimen.
The center has already scheduled four projects that address these issues in real-world clinical settings. The first project, for example, investigates factors that lead to medication misuse among elderly patients.
Originally published on November 8, 2001