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Because your voice matters.

Patient Partners are Implementing and Evaluating ActionADE to Improve Patient Safety

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Categories: News & Events, Patient Voice Mail

Adverse drug events are the harmful and unintended consequences of medication use. With 75% of Canadians over 65 taking one or more prescription medications daily to treat chronic conditions like hypertension, heart disease or mental illness[1], it’s not surprising that these events happen. They contribute to over two million emergency department visits and 700,000 hospital admissions in Canada each year. [2] [3]

Preventing ADEs is a public health priority, and ActionADE is a research project focused on preventing them. Researchers at UBC and SFU designed the project, and, in the spring of 2016, they began a collaboration with three patient partners from the Patient Voices Network to provide input on the project’s direction and assist in developing public educational materials.

The patient partners on the team – Johanna Trimble, Laurel Radley and Kevin Barry – have contributed in a variety of ways, including reviewing and editing briefing notes and manuscripts, participating in meetings with key stakeholders, brainstorming solutions to issues and simplifying the ActionADE website to improve accuracy and accessibility.

Much of Johanna’s volunteer work prior to this project has been dedicated to preventing the over-medication of older adults, while Kevin and Laurel bring decades of experience working in nursing to the project. Johanna also has a personal connection to the issue – her stepmother Pat had experienced multiple adverse drug reactions, including one which almost required the cancellation of a necessary surgery.


[1] Canadian Institute for Health Information. Drug Use Among Seniors in Canada, 2016. Ottawa, ON: CIHI; 2018. https://www.cihi.ca/sites/default/files/document/drug-use-among-seniors-2016-en-web.pdf

[2] Zed PJ, Abu-Laban RB, Balen RM, et al. Incidence, severity and preventability of medication-related visits to the emergency department: a prospective study. CMAJ 2008;178(12):1563-69.

[3] Canadian Institute for Health Information. Emergency Department Visits in 2014-2015. In: Hohl CM, ed., 2015

Author: Carol Stathers, Engagement Leader, Patient & Public Engagement

From Our Community

Karla Warkotsch

Patient Experience Consultant – Interior Health

Karla Warkotsch

The question I like to ask health care employees is ‘Who is this for?’ and ‘Do we have the right people at the table?’ As a health care employee, I see how easy it is to fall into doing for, rather than doing with patients. The voices of the patient, family and caregiver are essential to ensure the patient is central to the direction and focus of the work being done.