Journal of Medical Toxicology highlights patient and medication safety


The Journal of Medical Toxicology (JMT), the official journal of the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT), highlights patient and medication safety with its June 2015 issue (Vol. 11, Issue 2). 

Editorial board member Dr Jeanmarie Perrone, from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, served as the special editor for this issue, which includes several proceedings from ACMT’s 2014 fall symposium “At the Precipice of Quality Health Care: The Role of the Toxicologist in Enhancing Patient and Medication Safety.” 

The symposium explored safety from several perspectives and provided an overview of organizational, system-based approaches that address these issues. This is an important topic for health systems and clinicians as they dedicate increasing resources to address medication safety.

Medical toxicologists are frequently involved in the care of patients who have suffered from medication errors and leadership opportunities in medication safety are emerging as a result of this experience and expertise.

Several articles in the June issue of JMT address how clinicians and policy makers can better approach error identification and aim proactively to prevent errors in their organizations and the populations they serve. According to Dr Perrone, “These proceedings yield a toolbox of critical concepts for clinicians tasked with addressing patient and medication safety issues by thought leaders in the field.” 

Dr Brenna Farmer from Weill-Cornell Medical Center and Dr Silas Smith from the New York University School of Medicine organized the ACMT symposium. In addition, they co-authored an historical review of patient safety crises and lessons learned, as well as current innovations being applied toward improving safe medication practice. 

Other articles in this issue discuss the significance of a “Culture of Safety” and “Just Culture” in healthcare organizations; relevant lessons about patient safety learned from high reliability organizations (HROs); and the tools used by the FDA to improve medication safety. 

Dr Perrone further added: “These papers represent an expanded compendium of a growing body of literature on the role of proactive, rather than reactive, approaches to safety, as well as the benefits of including the unique perspectives of medical toxicologists on the front line of patient safety.” 

Journal of Medical Toxicology, US, Jeanmarie Perrone