Category: Fellows Posters
Across the world unsafe medication practices and medication errors are a leading cause of avoidable harm and injury in health care systems. Annually, the cost associated with medication errors has been estimated to be $42 billion USD. In response to this, the World Health Organization (WHO) identified Medication Without Harm as the theme for the third Global Patient Safety Challenge. As part of the Challenge, WHO is collaborating with the Institute of Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) to produce a series of medication safety assessment tools to assess medication systems, enable safer medication practices, and monitor progress.
Meetings were held between 2016 and 2019 to address the goal to reduce avoidable medication-related harm by 50%, globally, over the next 5 years. In April of 2016, a consultative meeting was held at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting brought together 57 experts and leaders in medication and patient safety from 23 countries, and the non-governmental organization sector including the pharmaceutical industry. Participants including ISMP reviewed, discussed, and agreed upon the Challenge scope and structure. On March 29, 2017 the WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge on medication safety was launched in Bonn, Germany. As a result of the Challenge, focus groups were conducted. ISMP participated in a focus group meeting in May of 2019. That meeting created a framework and operational plan. Utilizing the ISMP Medication Safety Self Assessment for Hospitals as model, a WHO-ISMP Medication Safety Assessment Tool was proposed. The WHO-ISMP Medication Safety Assessment Tool would be aligned with the domains and subdomains of the Challenge and would be used at the facility level. The Tool would be designed to give facilities the opportunity to conduct a self-assessment of their medication processes, identify established targets, and measure progress over time, according to the domains and criteria.
The WHO-ISMP Medication Safety Assessment Tool will address the key action areas of polypharmacy, high-risk situations, and transitions of care within the Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm. The domains of the WHO-ISMP Assessment Tool will be focused on patients and the public, health care professionals, systems and practices of medication, and medicines. The Tool will include elements of the ISMP Medication Safety Self Assessment for Hospitals and will be utilized by facilities all over the world. During 2018 and 2019 several safety experts, including representatives from ISMP, worked on developing a draft of the assessment. Refinements are currently underway, and the final Tool should be available in 2021.
The outcome of WHO’s newest Global Patient Safety Challenge will propose solutions to address many of the obstacles the world faces today to ensure the safety of medication practices. This endeavor orchestrated by WHO shows how representatives from countries throughout the world, including ISMP, can unite under a common safety concern to support WHO Member States in analyzing their medication practices.