Thursday, April 24, 2014
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Recession hurts patients, survey finds

One in five respondents to its survey reported a large negative impact on medication safety at their hospitals due to the economy and another 21 percent said the downturn was a moderate negative for patient safety. Nearly one third (31 percent) of the survey respondents said that staffing reductions had resulted in missed checks of "high-alert" medications before administration to patients, according to a recent survey of 848 health-care workers by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices in Horsham, Pa.

Recession hurts patients, survey finds

Staff reductions, increased workloads and low morale at hospitals impacted by the economic downturn has put patients at risk of unsafe care, according to a recent survey of 848 health-care workers by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices in Horsham, Pa.

The nonprofit group said one in five respondents to its survey reported a large negative impact on medication safety at their hospitals due to the economy and another 21 percent said the downturn was a moderate negative for patient safety. Nearly one third (31 percent) of the survey respondents said that staffing reductions had resulted in missed checks of “high-alert” medications before administration to patients.

“About 20 percent of respondents reported that medication errors have occurred in the past year in which changes due to the economic downturn were a contributing factor,” the medication safety group reported. And more than one in four (27 percent) of those who responded to the survey said the leaders of their hospital have “developed a plan to minimize the backslide on patient safety during the economic downturn.”

About this blog

Check Up covers major health events in our region and offers everything from personal health advice to an expert look at health reform. Read about some of our bloggers here.

For Inquirer.com. Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section

Michael Cohen id the president of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices in Horsham.

Daniel Hoffman is the president of Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates (PBRA) in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania, a healthcare research and consulting company specializing in key account positioning and messaging.

Michael Cohen
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