Magazine article Drug Topics

Hospital Notes

Magazine article Drug Topics

Hospital Notes

Article excerpt

Editor's Note: With this issue, Drug Topics introduces Hospital Notes, designed to keep our readers up to date on happenings and trends in hospital practice and integrated health-care systems. The column, which will appear monthly, includes information provided by Drug Topics' sister publication, Hospital Pharmacist Report.

Patient care No. 1

In ASHP's most recent survey of its members, 7,083 out of the more than 15,000 members who responded mentioned patient care when asked about their daily activities. Patient care beat out drug distribution and dispensing, drug information, pharmacy administration, staff development, and adverse drug reaction monitoring as the most frequently mentioned activity.

VRE mortality up

A Northwestern University study shows that infections caused by vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) are increasing in hospitals and are associated with a high mortality rate. The study showed that in 21 out of 53 cases of patients with E. faecium, VRE was apparent, and the 21 cases were patients who had previously received vancomycin. Twenty-five of 32 patients with nonresistant strains also picked them up in the hospital. The mortality was highonly 24% survived, versus 59% who survived in the vancomycinresponsive group.

Saving the day

Staff pharmacists at the Albany Medical Center Hospital averted more than 1,000 errors in antibiotic Rxs written for hospital patients. Seventy percent were judged to be potentially significant, including 15% ranked serious and 15% judged to be lifethreatening. Centralized staff pharmacists reviewed antibiotic orders for appropriateness, such as the patient's age, sex, drug allergies, weight (in the case of children), the antibiotic indication, and the suspected site of the infection or organism. …

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