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Adverse drug events in nursing homes are far more common than previously identified

l adverse drug events each year in the United States, of which nearly 70% may be preventable. "This seems to be a major safety issue for some of our most vulnerable patients," Dr. Gurwitz said. "We must develop new approaches for making the use of medications less prone to errors and risk for older patients in nursing homes."

In addition to improvements in technology and management systems to deal with the proper ordering and monitoring of medications, Dr. Gurwitz and his team also advocate for increased involvement of relatives of nursing home residents in their care. "In many of our studies, we've seen that it is often a family member who brings attention to a problem with a medication," Dr. Gurwitz said. "So engagement of family members in the care of their older relatives is very important. People should be aware of the drugs that are being prescribed, the reasons for their use, and potential drug side effects; and they should report any changes they notice in their relative's condition."


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Contact: Pam Poppalardo
ajmmedia@elsevier.com
212-633 3944
Elsevier Health Sciences
24-Feb-2005


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