Pharmacy leading charge in patient safety and error reporting
Canadian pharmacists are committed to providing safe and effective care in each and every community they serve and to consistently improve the practice of pharmacy to reduce risks of potential medication errors. Pharmacists fill over 600 million prescriptions every year. While medication errors do happen, they are very rare and a new study from Nova Scotia suggests that the vast majority are caught and addressed before medications ever reach the patient (82%). However, we recognize that there are opportunities for the profession to learn and reduce errors. Even one medication error resulting in patient harm is too many.
As the national voice of the profession, we believe that error reporting can be an important tool for pharmacies and the health care sector to better understand why errors can happen and identify opportunities to improve practices that will help mitigate the risk of errors. While the recent study coming out of Nova Scotia does provide some preliminary data about the leading causes of errors, we believe additional information could further assist the profession understand and address the main drivers of errors. As other provinces and territories adopt error reporting requirements, we believe it’s important for us to measure the right data, and create solutions that work for pharmacists, which will in turn allow us to develop effective strategies to prevent errors from happening.
CPhA is committed to working with partners to move the culture of safety forward in Canada, and we have partnered with Pharmapod, the global leader in incident management reporting, to offer a pharmacist-led solution that supports error reporting.
Together with error reporting, CPhA also believes improving access to digital health technologies, such as electronic prescribing systems and fully integrated electronic health records, is key to improving the safety of the entire prescribing system. CPhA is committed to continuing to work closely with governments, regulators, pharmacy and patient safety groups to foster a culture of medication safety in community pharmacy across the country.