Action ADE - Rewarding Success Profile

Adverse Drug Events (ADE), the harmful and unintended consequences of medication use, are a leading cause of unplanned hospital admissions, and rank between the 4th and 6th cause of death in North America. The ActionADE research project conservatively estimate that fully 30% of preventable ADEs requiring hospital admission may be repeat events that could be prevented with more effective ways of communicating relevant ADE information.

ActionADE is a patient-oriented research project led by co-principle investigators Ellen Balka and Corinne Hohl which brings together health care professionals, government officials, academic researchers and patients to design and implement the tools we need to prevent adverse drug events. 

The project was one of two BC-based teams to advance to the next stage of the CHIR Rewarding Success Initiative, which is designed to produce interventions that will result in cost savings and/or improved efficiencies in Canada’s health care system.

What are Adverse Drug Events?

Every year, two million Canadians go to the emergency department because of the harmful and unintended consequences of their medications. Adverse drug events (ADE) have become a leading cause of emergency department visits and unplanned admissions to hospital.

While some ADEs are related to unknown or unexpected reactions associated with a medication, many, if not most, ADEs are preventable and are related to human error and the complexities of care, prescribing, dispensing, and medication use.

Most importantly, from the existing research and our own prospective studies, we conservatively estimate that fully 30% of preventable ADEs requiring hospital admission may be repeat events that could be prevented with more effective ways of communicating relevant ADE information.

Learn more about preventing adverse drug events & Corinne Hohl's work here.

What is ActionADE?

The ActionADE research project brings together health care professionals, government officials, academic researchers and patients to design and implement the tools we need to prevent adverse drug events. Working collaboratively with patient partners, ActionADE has been developing an online tool that allows health-care practitioners to capture, share and use ADE information across healthcare settings through effective electronic communication.

ActionADE allows clinicians to document adverse drug events electronically at the patient's bedside, and then send that information to PharmaNet, the province's drug dispensing database. From there, the information is automatically pushed to community pharmacies where most of the harmful drugs are currently re-dispensed. This is done whenever attempts are made to re-prescribe or re-dispense drugs that previously caused harm.

Learn more about ActionADE here.

A Patient-Oriented Approach

The ActionADE research project has taken a patient-oriented approach, bringing together health care professionals, government officials, academic researchers and patients to design and implement the tools we need to prevent adverse drug events. Patient partners have been instrumental to the project, bringing the idea of applying for the Rewarding Success Initiative to the table and helping to keep the project moving after a period of stagnation. 

Patient partners have helped to ground the work of ActionADE throughout the project lifecycle. "One way that having patients involved has been helpful has been to serve as a sounding board in research meetings." explained Corinne Hohl, co-principle investigator for ActionADE, "When we designed the randomized controlled trial there were some really important ethical questions about informed consent, or how we inform patients about adverse drug events. They had some really valuable input about how we should move forward in these important areas”

Rewarding Success

he Rewarding Success Initiative is designed to produce interventions that will result in cost savings and/or improved efficiencies in Canada’s health care system. The initiative is a multi-phased experimental funding model that is being piloted in BC, Alberta, Manitoba, and Newfoundland & Labrador.

This initiative is similar to other funding models that have been developed to support innovation and impact, such as risk sharing, social impact bonds, and innovation prizes.

In British Columbia, Rewarding Success will focus on the following priorities, identified by the provincial Ministry of Health:

  1. Coordinated primary and community care:
    • Complex medical care and/or supports for frail patients (including people living with dementia)
    • Complex mental health and/or substance use
  2. Improved access to surgical services (perioperative services)
  3. Consideration for accessibility of services in rural, remote, First Nations communities
  4. Innovative health technologies to facilitate patient-centered, team-based care, and to enable secure access to health care services and information

The main principle of Rewarding Success is that teams will identify and implement potential solutions to problems and priorities in health care that will enhance the experience of patients and healthcare providers while also:

  1. reducing low value health care (e.g. unnecessary diagnostic tests/ drugs),
  2. addressing health care inefficiencies (e.g. wait lists),
  3. reducing avoidable morbidity (e.g. stroke)

The Rewarding Success Initiative allows partners the possibility of benefiting from savings produced in the health care system.

Learn more about Rewarding Success here