News Release

ISMP Releases Updated Community/Ambulatory Pharmacy Medication Safety Self Assessment

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Community and ambulatory pharmacy settings can now access a newly revised tool that will help them review and improve their medication safety practices. The 2017 Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) Medication Safety Self Assessment® for Community/Ambulatory Pharmacy is designed to help pharmacies evaluate their current systems, proactively identify opportunities for improvement, and track their efforts over time.

An advisory panel of experts helped ISMP update items from the 2001 community/ambulatory pharmacy self assessment as well as add items to address new practices and processes, including the pharmacist’s emerging role in immunization administration. New research findings about error prevention and evolving technologies previously not widely adopted are also covered.

ISMP recommends that each pharmacy site convene their own team of staff members (i.e., owners/managers, pharmacists, technicians, and student pharmacists) to complete this comprehensive assessment, and use the information as part of their ongoing safety and quality improvement efforts.

The assessment covers ten key areas that significantly impact safe medication use:

  • Patient information 
  • Drug information 
  • Communication of drug orders and other drug information 
  • Drug labeling, packaging, and nomenclature
  • Drug standardization, storage, and distribution
  • Use of devices  
  • Environmental factors, workflow, and staffing patterns 
  • Staff competency and education 
  • Patient education 
  • Quality processes and risk management

Pharmacy teams working on the community/ambulatory pharmacy self assessment can utilize an online form to record their responses. Information entered can be saved and returned to at a later time.

When the self assessment is completed, respondents can generate a report showing how they scored in each key area as a percentage of the maximum possible score. The pharmacy can then use their scores and how they responded to each of the assessment items to identify and prioritize opportunities for improvement as a part of their medication safety action plan.

 

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