The Joint Commission (TJC) has issued Sentinel Events Alert #49, Safe Use of Opioids in Hospitals
. According to TJC, opioid analgesics are among the mediations most often associated with adverse drug events. This Sentinel Event Alert adds to the rapidly growing list of resources and initiatives aimed at reducing the risks of opioid use and educating prescribers on safe prescribing and safe use practices. In recent weeks we have also seen reports from the Food and Drug Administration as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about safe opioid use.
This Sentinel Event Alert specifically addresses the safe use of opioids in the inpatient hospital setting. While there are also risks associated with outpatient prescribing and use of opioids in the emergency department, those risks are not specifically addressed in this Sentinel Event Alert.
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