Tools for Optimizing Medication Safety (TOP-MEDS)

Project: Research project

Project Details


We propose a patient safety CERT focused on the theme of Tools for Optimizing Medication Safety (TOPMEDS). The long term goal is to improve patient safety by developing and refining tools for safer medication use. The short term objective is to develop, test, deploy and disseminate tools and training materials in four key areas: statistical methods for large-scale studies of comparative drug safety and effectiveness, opioid prescribing and dosing for acute pain, methods for preventing and detecting drug name confusion errors, and patient-centered, language concordant drug information. We will carry out studies with the following specific aims: 1. Develop and apply a multivariate, person-time logistic regression model for large-scale adverse drug event screening. 2. Improve the safety and effectiveness of inpatient acute pain care by developing and validating a novel, web-based simulator to train prescribers in the proper selection and dosing of opioids. 3. Refine a standard battery of tests for pre-market safety screening of drug names, and develop and test methods for preventing and detecting drug name confusion errors using electronic medical records. 4. Rigorously evaluate a low literacy strategy for promoting safe and effective prescription medication use among English and Spanish-speaking patients in an urban primary care setting. Together the projects address all five of the programmatic interest areas: comparative effectiveness, patient safety, development of tools, health care system interventions, and translation into policy or practice. Northwestern University will host the center, with collaborators at the University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Chicago, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Discerning Systems, Inc., the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the National Patient Safety Foundation. Our investigators are national and international leaders in statistics (Robert Gibbons), health literacy (Michael Wolf), drug name confusion (Bruce Lambert), health information technology (Gordon Schiff, Bill Galanter), pain care (Robert McNutt and Diana Wilkie) medication error prevention (Michael Cohen) and patient safety (Tim McDonald, Diane Pinakiewicz).
Effective start/end date9/1/138/31/16


  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (7U19HS021093-03)


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.