Minnesota Hospital Association

Patient Safety

Adverse Drug Events

An adverse drug event (ADE) is an injury a patient incurs resulting from the use of a drug. In hospitals, examples of adverse drug events include medication errors such as accidental overdose or providing a drug to the wrong patient or by adverse drug reactions, such as an allergic reaction. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, patients in hospitals experience approximately 1.9 million adverse drug events annually, from events that cause little or no harm to those that result in death.   

Minnesota hospitals take the prevention of adverse health events seriously and are involved in many initiatives to reduce the number of adverse drug events in our hospitals. An adverse drug event advisory group has developed a road map based on evidence-based best practices focusing on anti-coagulants, hypoglycemic agents and opioids. The ADE road map is a key component of the Partnership for Patients’ Medication Safety Affinity Group's (MSAG) support of the improved safety in the use of anticoagulants, insulin and oral hypoglycemic agents. MSAG, comprised of 24 Hospital Engagement Networks (HEN) and over 2,900 hospitals, is focused on collecting and disseminating results, best practices, and implementation strategies to improve medication safety. 

Download the MHA "Road Map to a Medication Safety Program" and following components of the road map:

Access the tool kit of best practices and resources on the bottom of this page to guide you in your efforts.

Adverse drug events are one of the 10 areas of focus being addressed through the Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement Network. The Partnership estimates that 50 percent of all adverse drug events in hospitals each year are preventable.

Tool kit for hospital staff

This tool kit provides best practices that hospitals can use to implement the Road Map to Medication Safety recommendations in their facilities. Hospitals may copy, translate, distribute and present the following items as long as you reference the Minnesota Hospital Association as the source of this material. If the tool is hospital-specific, please also cite the hospital as a source.

General documents

SAFE Document Resources and Tools

 S — Safety Teams and Organizational Structure

A — Access to Information

F — Facility Expectations

E — Engagement of Patients and Families

Hypoglycemic Gap Analysis Resources and Tools

Articles, documents and presentations

Guidelines, algorithms and tools

Sample order sets

Sample policies and protocols

Education

Opioid Gap Analysis Resources and Tools

Articles, documents and presentations

Guidelines, algorithms and tools

Sample order sets

Education

Anticoagulant Gap Analysis Resources and Tools

Articles, documents and presentations

Guidelines, algorithms and tools

Education

Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) Resources and Tools