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Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics Aims to Improve Medication Safety
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Medication safety is a concern of both patients and physicians, and this issue is at the forefront of the Tools for Optimizing Medication Safety (TOP-MEDS) project at the Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERT) at Northwestern. The CERT program, sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, aims to increase drug knowledge and awareness, provide clinical information to patients and medical practitioners, and improve the quality of patient care while simultaneously cutting costs.


Led by Bruce Lambert, PhD, the TOP-MEDS CERT is one of seven such centers nationwide. It focuses on four core areas of research:

  1. Developing a model using statistical methods to detect drug risks not noted in pre-approval clinical trials.
  2. Developing a simulation program to train residents in the proper selection and dosing of opioids to improve the safety and effectiveness of acute pain relievers in inpatients.
  3. Developing methods of preventing and detecting drug-name confusion both pre-approval and post-approval.
  4. Evaluating low-literacy materials and the use of electronic health records to promote safe and effective use of medications in an urban primary care practice.

The National Patient Safety Foundation is working with TOP-MEDS to disseminate research findings.


“Dissemination is one of the core missions of the center,” said Dr. Lambert. “The goal is to make measurable improvements that improve public health for Americans.”


Learn more about the Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics:


Read more about each of the TOP-MEDs projects:


Researching New Approaches to Medication Safety for Patients with Low Literacy

The Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics is using low-literacy materials embedded in an outpatient clinic’s electronic medical record to try to improve medication adherence and understanding.


Can the EHR Help Promote Safe and Appropriate Use of Medication in Primary Care?

In a practical test of meaningful use, researchers are using low-literacy materials embedded in the electronic health record system to try to improve patient understanding of and adherence to medication regimens.


Adding Simulation to Resident Training in the Use of Opioids to Control Pain

Researchers at the TOP-MEDS Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics are testing the use of a simulator to teach residents how to prescribe, dose, and monitor opioid use in inpatients.


Using Indication Alerts to Prevent Wrong-Drug and Wrong-Patient Errors in CPOE Systems

Researchers at the Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics capitalize on the problem list to prevent medication errors.


Looking for Safety in Numbers

Researchers are emphasizing the need for large-scale observational data, which can lead to stronger and more accurate analysis for drug safety.


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5/15/2019 » 5/17/2019
IHI Patient Safety Congress

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