- As pediatricians face increasing complexity in rendering care, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued an update to its 2011 Policy Statement on reducing care-related harms.
Why this matters
- Because of developmental, dependency, and size susceptibilities, children can be more vulnerable than adults to harm from medical errors.
- Many mistakes in the pediatric setting involved medication errors.
- Electronic health records are a minefield because of their adult-centric design.
- Editorial offers a case for clinicians to consider.
- Within their own professional communities, clinicians should work to raise awareness of best practices; actions can include:
- Training and education.
- Networking at regional and national meetings.
- Creating a “safety culture” by presenting “safety” or “good-catch” stories at group meetings.
- Following standardized protocols.
- Clinicians can also work on developing pediatric-specific error reporting, take leadership roles in local communities, engage patients in these issues, and, of course, adhere to best practices.
- Drug safety should be particularly targeted.
- In the hypothetical case:
- A child presents at a pediatric clinic after a long hospitalization.
- The clinician has no discharge summary or other information.
- The mother mentions new medications but cannot remember them.
- Exam reveals changes since the last visit.
- Where did things go wrong?