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Invited Commentary
March 1, 2021

Adverse Drug Events After Hospitalization—Are We Missing the Mark?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco
  • 2San Francisco VA Medical Center, Division of Geriatrics, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco
JAMA Intern Med. 2021;181(5):618-619. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.9282

Care transitions, from an acute care hospitalization to home, are an especially dangerous time for older adults and can affect patient outcomes, cause harm, and, when done poorly, be extremely costly.1,2 Patients receive medications from new and different clinicians, which can lead to errors or discrepancies,3 including inappropriate discontinuation or unintentional inclusion of medications.4 Even if not prescribed erroneously, new medications have the potential to cause an adverse event. At least 20% of older adults will experience an adverse event in the weeks following hospitalization, with most being secondary to adverse drug-related events (ADEs). Of these, half are considered preventable or ameliorable.5

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