More Research Points to Communication’s Role in Reducing Adverse Drug Event Risk

One-fourth of outpatients studied at four adult primary care practices in Boston were found to experience adverse drug events during a three-month period, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine (April 17). Of these events, 13% were serious, and 39% were ameliorable or preventable. "Ameliorable adverse drug events were attributed to poor communication,” the authors found. They defined this as “the physician’s failure to respond to symptoms reported by the patient or the patient’s failure to report symptoms to the physician.”