Nursing: Geriatric Special Topics: Reducing Adverse Drug Events

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About the Course

Target Audience: The target audience for this education program is nurses who want to improve their ability to prevent adverse drug events and to help manage them when they do occur.

Course Overview: One in seven Medicare beneficiaries experienced an adverse event while being hospitalized in 2008. Between 2007 and 2009, almost 100,000 emergency hospitalizations in the United States were caused by adverse drug events (ADEs) in adults aged 65 years or older. It is imperative that nurses and their professional colleagues help to develop systems and processes that will reduce the occurrence of adverse drug events and facilitate management of such events when they occur. This course provides information regarding: identification of persons at high risk of ADEs; how to conduct a comprehensive medication assessment; medications that have a high potential for toxicity in older adults; the reasons older adults have ADEs; and how to prevent common medication-related problems in older adults. 

Learning Objectives

  1. Define the terms relevant to adverse drug events.
  2. Describe five reasons that older adults experience adverse drug events.
  3. Differentiate between an adverse drug event and an adverse drug reaction.
  4. Conduct a comprehensive medication assessment.
  5. Specify four medications or medication classes having a high potential for toxicity in older adults.
  6. Delineate strategies to prevent common medication-related problems in older adults.

About the Author

DeAnne Zwicker DrNP, AGNP is part of the Inova Medical Group/Geriatrics SNF Department, Reston, Virginia.

Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN is the President of the John A. Hartford Foundation, New York, New York.

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