News Release

Baxter and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) Address Global Medication Error Prevention

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), with the support of Baxter International, is launching a two-year International Safe Medication Management Fellowship program. The goal of the program is to elevate awareness and to provide healthcare professionals with the education, tools and training to advance medication error prevention in the United States and around the world.

“We greatly appreciate Baxter’s support for the International Safe Medication Management Fellowship program,” said Michael R. Cohen, RPh, MS, ScD (hon.), DPS (hon.), FASHP, president, ISMP. “Preventing medication errors is an issue of global importance and this program will help advance prevention strategies—including the use of prefilled syringes, premixed medications and new systems of error reporting—that can be implemented in healthcare settings around the world.”

Unsafe medication practices and medication errors are a cause of significant patient harm and injury globally. World Health Organization data from European Union Member States consistently shows that medical errors and healthcare-related adverse events occur in 8-12 percent of hospitalizations. And 11 percent of European Union citizens claim to have been prescribed the wrong medication1 . In the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports medication errors cause at least one death every day and injure approximately 1.3 million people annually .

“Medication errors can occur at any point in the healthcare delivery system, which is why Baxter puts such a high priority on helping prevent errors from ever reaching patients,” said Dheerendra Kommala, M.D., vice president, Medical Affairs, Baxter. “The ISMP Fellowship programs allow healthcare practitioners to identify best practices in medication error prevention and equip them with the tools and training for implementation in their local markets to advance patient safety.”

As part of the International Safe Medication Management Fellowship program, which will be based at ISMP’s offices in Horsham, Pennsylvania, participants will work directly with domestic and international professional medication safety organizations, such as the International Medication Safety Network (IMSN). Fellows will attend critical multi-country medication safety events and collaborate on efforts to address unsafe naming, labeling and packaging of medicines. They will advocate for standardized safe medication practices that can improve global medication safety. And they will advance medication management safety strategies and global reporting of medication errors to drive awareness of unsafe medication practices.

The announcement of the new international fellowship comes as ISMP and Baxter recognize Patient Safety Awareness Week, taking place March 12 – 18, 2017. Patient Safety Awareness Week is an effort to increase awareness of patient safety issues among health professionals and the public across the United States.


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