Many experts believe that the vast majority of initial hospital admissions and readmissions are preventable
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
by: Philips Lifeline

Section: Quality and Educational Programming




Many older adults take multiple medications and are faced with complex dosing schedules that can lead to over or under-dosing or ingesting medications at the wrong time. These kinds of medication management errors can potentially lead to medical complications, initial hospitalizations and rehospitalizations.

Medication-related challenges and falls are two factors that can independently and interdependently cause adverse events that result in hospital utilization.

Medication facts:

  • Medication errors are estimated to harm at least 1.5 million patients per year.
  • Adverse drug events cause 700,000 ED visits and 120,000 hospitalizations annually.1
  • Studies show that 51% of patients had at least one clinically important medication error during the first 30 days after discharge.2

Patient Facts:

  • Adults over the age of 65 take more prescription and over-the counter medicines than any other age group.3
  • Over 1/3 of these adults use 5 or more prescription drugs.
  • Approximately one in 10 hospital admissions for older adults is the result of incorrect medication use.4
  • The risk for falls for older adults taking four or more medications is three times greater.5

Patient spotlight

Philips Lifeline offers comprehensive home monitoring services that can help support patient self-management of medications and accelerate intervention after a fall, both of which can help in reducing the potential for hospital admissions and readmissions.

For more information on The Philips Medication Dispensing and AutoAlert Fall Detection Services, please contact Dawn Fitzgerald at(800)451-0525 x 1211


1 Daniel S. Budnitz et al.,“National Surveillance of Emergency Department Visits for Outpatient Adverse Drug Events,” JAMA 296 (2006): 1860.

2 Sunil Kripalani et al., “Effect of a Pharmacist Intervention on Clinically Important Medication Errors After Hospital Discharge: A Randomized Trial,” Annals of Internal Medicine 157 (2012): 1.

3 “Enhancing Prescription Medicine Adherence:A National Action Plan,” National Council on Patient Information and Education (2007): 13.

4 Nananda Col, James E. Fanale, and Penelope Kronholm,“The Role of Medication Noncompliance and Adverse Drug Reactions

5 “Key Facts About Patient Safety,” National Patient Safety Foundation, http://www.npsf.org/for-patients-consumers/patients-and-consumerskey- facts-about-patient-safety.

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