ADE stands for Adverse Drug Events. Adverse drug events are the harmful and unintended consequences of regular or prescription medication use.
Why does this matter?
Approximately 2 million Canadians go to the ER each year due to adverse drug events. ADEs are the 5th leading cause of death in North America, and it is estimated that 95% of ADEs are not even reported. At the moment, our healthcare systems are already strained due to COVID-19; and many ADEs are preventable. It’s time to do something about this.
How do we prevent ADEs?
Many ADEs are preventable if the healthcare provider has all the relevant patient information. Statistics show that 30% of ADEs occur because healthcare providers unknowingly re-prescribes drugs that had previously harmed their patient.
Currently, each individual hospital keeps their own records on ADEs. However, this information is not shared among medical professionals between different healthcare institutions. As patients may go to multiple healthcare providers, there’s no way of knowing what has been previously prescribed.
Medical professionals can’t see the full picture, so they are restricted from making the best possible diagnosis and treatment for their patient. Lack of knowledge opens up the possibility of errors, and errors can occur in complexity of care, prescribing, dispensing and/or medication use.
Improved communication solutions are needed. Online data and communication platforms can help us better capture, share and use ADE information across healthcare settings.
Who is ActionADE?
As a team of researchers, ActionADE started the ActionADE project to prevent ADEs. The project unites healthcare professionals, patients, technology providers and government officials. Together we work to design and implement new online data and communication platforms.
The ActionADE platform will track medication history, recommend and order drugs and treatments. ActionADE’s goal is to share data and to save time with minimal effort.
Excelar Technologies is a partner to the ActionADE project, of which Chatnels is a subsidiary. We strongly believe combining technology and data in the form of online communication platforms, and these platforms can improve patient safety and save the lives of millions of Canadians.
What is Vanessa’s Law?
Vanessa’s Law provides the backstory to adverse drug events and why the ActionADE project started. The law’s history is one of tragic loss because sadly, Vanessa Young passed away from a heart attack caused by an ADE when she was only 15 years old. Vanessa’s Law was introduced into Canadian legislation on November 6, 2014, and as of December 16, 2019, this law requires healthcare workers to report serious ADEs to Health Canada.
What caused her ADE?
She was taking a common prescription acid reflux drug. Now in her memory, legislation exists to better protect Canadians under the Unsafe Drugs Act.