News Release

New ISMP White Paper Helps Justify Value of Medication Safety Officer Positions

A white paper recently released by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) stresses the need for Medication Safety Officers to be included as an integral part of the healthcare team. A Call to Action: The Case for Medication Safety Officers (MSO)  provides detailed information for hospital leadership on the value of creating a dedicated position directly responsible for and empowered to lead medication safety strategy and implementation.

Evidence from the ISMP Medication Safety Self Assessment® for Hospitals suggests that hospitals with a MSO have more effective medication safety strategies in place than those that do not have an MSO. Despite this, there often is resistance to bringing an MSO on board in many hospitals because of lack of perceived value by senior leadership and difficulty in justifying the position.

While medication safety is the responsibility of many, the coordination and strategic alignment of the work is optimized if the effort stems from one individual. ISMP’s white paper describes the necessity for healthcare organizations to create a centralized leadership role to drive safety improvement. It also describes key roles MSO can play in optimizing safety, and comparable positions in other safety industries that can serve as models.

The white paper provides a detailed description of the roles of a MSO as a:

  • Champion
  • Evidence and knowledge steward
  • Strategist/advocate
  • Facilitator
  • Cross-discipline leader
  • Data optimizer

The white paper was prepared through a grant from BD.

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