"Cheers" for medication
safety: Celebrating those who made a difference in 2002
From the December 18, 2002 issue
With great pleasure, ISMP held its Fifth Annual
CHEERS Awards Dinner last week at the ASHP Midyear
Clinical Meeting in Atlanta to honor some extraordinary organizations,
companies, and individuals who have set a standard of excellence
this year in the prevention of medication errors.
Loud CHEERS rang out for two hospitals that have raised
the bar in their quest for medication safety. Concord Hospital,
in New Hampshire, was honored for its innovative Collaborative
Care Model, which involves patients and families as integral
members of the healthcare team when visited during interdisciplinary
clinical rounds. Measured results show better clinical and
safety outcomes as well as enhanced satisfaction for patients,
families, and staff. CHEERS also were awarded to Brigham
& Women's Hospital in Boston, MA, for actively seeking
out potential adverse drug events through an automated monitoring
system that scans electronic medication orders and lab values.
Pharmacists' use of the information has resulted in improved
CHEERS were presented to three recipients for their
exemplary roles in research, education, and information dissemination.
Anthony Grasha, PhD, Professor of Psychology at the
University of Cincinnati in Ohio, was honored for his study
of human and psychosocial factors and their relationship to
staff performance and job satisfaction. In 2002, Dr. Grasha
published five research articles that applied social and cognitive
psychology to understanding and avoiding human error. The
California HealthCare Foundation iHealth & Technology
Program, based in Oakland, CA, was honored for its effective
dissemination of iHealth Reports, an ongoing series of information,
forecasts, and surveys that examine the development and deployment
of new information technologies. CHEERS also went to
Temple University School of Pharmacy in Philadelphia,
PA, for establishing the first uniquely designed curriculum
dedicated to medication safety. This certificate program consists
of four semester-long courses and two clinical rotations in
organizations with an active medication safety program.
Three of our CHEERS Awards recipients were honored
for influencing public policy with their unwavering support
of medication safety. Steve Meisel, PharmD, Director
of Medication Safety for Fairview Health Services in Minneapolis,
MN, was honored for his ongoing mentorship of local medication
safety initiatives and his presentation this year to the US
Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee
on Regulatory Reform about problems related to medication
labeling, packaging, and nomenclature. His testimony was instrumental
in the Secretary's call for the pharmaceutical industry to
test the safety of new trademarks and packages before market
launch. The US Pharmacopeia Center for the Advancement
of Patient Safety, in Rockville, MD, was honored for its
resolute support of voluntary reporting of medication errors
and its tireless work with the US congressional staff to help
shape healthcare policy related to the protection of error
reports and other patient safety data to encourage reporting
without fear of legal retribution. Beverley Orser,
MD, PhD, FRCPC, an anesthesiologist and co-founder of ISMP-Canada,
was honored for helping to bring the issue of medication safety
to the Canadian government's attention, gaining support for
several local initiatives to reduce medication errors, and
for her pioneering work and achievements in the field of medication
safety in anesthesiology.
A very special CHEERS was awarded to this year's recipient
of the ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Subscriber Award,
Portsmouth Regional Hospital, a 144-bed community hospital
in NH. During the past year, the hospital clearly used the
newsletter as a cornerstone for its proactive medication error
reduction efforts, incorporating many of the newsletter's
recommendations into practice decisions and medication system
improvements. We also send our CHEERS to many other
subscribers who, throughout the year, sent us examples of
how they used the newsletter to improve medication safety.
We were so impressed with the efforts of many hospitals to
use the newsletter to improve medication safety that we, again,
selected a subscriber for honorable mention: Cleveland
Clinic Foundation, in Cleveland, OH.
The CHEERS Awards concluded with presentation of the
ISMP Lifetime Achievement Award to Kenneth Barker,
PhD, RPh, Sterling Distinguished Professor at Auburn University
School of Pharmacy and Director of the Auburn University Center
for Pharmacy Operations Design in Birmingham, AL. Dr. Barker's
career includes many accomplishments related to unit dose
dispensing, the direct observation method of detecting errors,
and pharmacy facility design and practice automation. Dr.
Barker is the second recipient of this award, which is presented
in memory of ISMP Trustee, David P. Vogel, RPh, MS.
In accepting the award, Dr. Barker noted: "Today, after
a lifetime of research on medication errors
I am about
convinced that we have done enough research. That's right.
I am saying that we already know enough right now to achieve
a very low error rate
Of course, we will still need
studies to update results
and examine special settings,
but the fact is, we know how to reduce and control the medication
error rate and its consequences for patient care right now!"
Our collective challenge for the year 2003 is to apply what
we already know to practice. We've been researching the problem
for years, talking about it extensively, and planning strategies
for reducing errors. Now, let's make 2003 a year of implementation.
As Dr. Barker commented, "Although research can point
the way, it is practitioners who take you there. As Nike says,
let's Just Do It!"
We thank the many organizations and individuals who attended
and/or sponsored our 2002 ISMP CHEERS Awards. Your
support for this event is greatly appreciated.