National Action Plan for Adverse Drug Event Prevention

Adverse drug events (ADEs) are injuries resulting from drug-related medical interventions. ADEs can occur in any health care setting, including:

  • Inpatient, such as acute care hospitals
  • Outpatient
  • Long-term care settings, such as nursing homes

Given the U.S. population’s large — and ever-increasing — medication exposure, the potential for harms from ADEs constitutes a critical patient safety and public health challenge.

Magnitude of the Problem

In inpatient settings, ADEs:

  • Account for an estimated 1 in 3 of all hospital adverse events
  • Affect about 2 million hospital stays each year
  • Prolong hospital stays by 1.7 to 4.6 days

In outpatient settings, ADEs account annually for:

  • Over 3.5 million physician office visits
  • An estimated 1 million emergency department visits
  • Approximately 125,000 hospital admissions

ADE Prevention: 2014 Action Plan Conference

The ADE Prevention: 2014 Action Plan Conference was held on October 30, 2014 to share the recommendations outlined in the ADE Action Plan. The conference facilitated dialogue among participants to identify opportunities that ensure safe and high-quality care for patients prescribed anticoagulants, diabetes agents, and opioids.

View the conference slides [PDF - 12 MB].

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