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Identifying Adverse Drug Events in Rural Hospitals: An Eight-State Study

Casey M, Hung P, Distel E, Prasad S

Adverse drug events (ADEs) are defined as events involving patient injury resulting from medication use; some ADEs are side effects that may occur even when a medication is taken correctly, while others are medication errors that occur when a medication is incorrectly prescribed or administered. ADEs result in significant patient morbidity, increase lengths of stay in the hospital, and are costly. Identifying ADEs in small rural hospitals can be challenging, as limited pharmacist support in many small rural hospitals may make it less likely that ADEs are detected and reported. 
 
Researchers on this project used hospital discharge data from the 2013 Statewide Inpatient Databases for eight states (Iowa, Kentucky, North Carolina, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin) to identify discharges involving ADEs, which were not present on admission to the hospital, related to the use of steroids, antibiotics, opiates / narcotics, and anticoagulants. These data were linked to FY 2013 AHA data to examine relationships between hospital characteristics and ADE rates. 
 
This brief describes the researchers’ findings. A companion brief provides resources to reduce ADEs in rural hospitals
 

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