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Keywords:

  • adverse drug reactions;
  • adverse events;
  • nurse-led medication monitoring;
  • patient safety;
  • pharmacovigilance

Gabe M.E., Davies G.A., Murphy F., Davies M., Johnstone L. & Jordan S. (2011) Journal of Nursing Management 19, 377–392 Adverse drug reactions: treatment burdens and nurse-led medication monitoring

Aim  This paper focuses on adverse drug reactions and the potential for introduction of nurse-led medication monitoring.

Background  The prevention of patient harm caused by health-care organizations was accorded international priority over a decade ago, yet adverse drug reactions remain a significant treatment burden to patients.

Evaluation  This paper reviews the literature to summarize existing knowledge and understand treatment burdens associated with adverse drug reactions.

Key issues  While epidemiological studies explore the magnitude and complex nature of adverse incidents in health-care organizations, the monitoring of prescribed medications and their adverse effects remains an area of concern. Nurse-led medication monitoring has been highlighted as an initiative to minimize unnecessary drug-related patient harm.

Conclusion  This paper indicates that nurses are well-placed to monitor and reduce drug-related morbidity, and builds upon previous work which prioritizes the monitoring of prescribed medicine in a nurse-led adverse drug reaction profile.

Implications for nursing management  Nurse-led medication monitoring presents a unique opportunity to curtail unnecessary treatment burdens. However, important considerations including, patients’ and professionals’ time, added paperwork, nurse education and training and inter-professional communication need to be explored. Further work is now needed to establish the clinical gains and patient outcomes of nurse-led medication monitoring.