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Newsletter Readers Act upon ISMP Recommendations

ISMP would like to extend its sincere appreciation to 172 readers who completed our ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Readership Survey between March and May 2022. It had been almost a decade since we last surveyed newsletter readers about their overall satisfaction with this newsletter. Please know that your recent input is highly valued and will be used to improve the newsletter. A brief description of the survey results follows.

Respondent Profile

Most survey respondents were pharmacists (61%) and nurses (21%); however, we also received responses from pharmacy technicians (9%); quality, risk, or safety practitioners (7%); and others (2%). Respondents reported their position as frontline staff (30%), medication safety specialists (30%), managers or directors (28%), educators (5%), administrators or executives (1%), or other varied positions (6%).

When and How the Newsletter is Read

More than four out of five respondents read the newsletter immediately when received (35%) or within a week of publication (48%). Most respondents (81%) typically read the PDF newsletter or the online newsletter version, which is available on the ISMP website. Most read the newsletter from a computer screen (92%) and/or from a printed copy (25%). Few respondents read the newsletter from a phone (4%) or a tablet (3%) screen.

Sharing the Newsletter with Others

Three-quarters of respondents (75%) reported that the newsletter is shared with them and others in the organization as a PDF file. Respondents reported sharing the newsletter with all pharmacy staff (46%) or all pharmacists (38%), and all nurses (21%). Another 13% share the newsletter with select pharmacy staff or pharmacists, and 40% share it with select nurses. Fewer share the newsletter with all physicians (9%) or select physicians (25%).

Newsletter Length and Format

Most respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the newsletter information was presented in an easy-to-read, organized manner (88%) and at an appropriate academic level (97%). They felt that the content stimulated discussion among colleagues, and 86% of respondents reported using the newsletter to educate staff and/or students. Ninety-four percent of respondents found the length of the newsletter and the number of pages to be just right. Several respondents provided suggestions for improving the layout of the newsletter, such as using more bullet points, providing the text in a larger font size, and presenting each article in a linear fashion so the material flows in a continuous format. These suggestions will be considered for future issues.

Implementing Recommendations

Most respondents strongly agreed (56%) or agreed (33%) that the newsletter has helped to reduce or prevent harmful medication events. Most reported that they have used information from the newsletter to make improvements in their personal practice habits (98%), in their unit or department (91%), or system-wide (85%). Additionally, 71% of respondents reported visiting the ISMP website for more information. Two-thirds (67%) of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their organization uses the ISMP Action Agenda to assess risk and reduce the frequency of medication errors.

Overall Satisfaction

Nearly all respondents (96%) agreed that the newsletter increases their understanding of medication errors and how to prevent errors. Most (93%) felt the recommendations presented in the newsletter were practical, helpful, and relevant to their practice. Almost all respondents (99%) strongly agreed or agreed that the newsletter serves as a credible, respected, and reliable source of information on medication safety.


ISMP recommendations are built upon the learning that accompanies a thorough analysis of medication errors reported to the ISMP National Medication Errors Reporting Program, literature review, and our peer review process. Thank you to those who report medication safety issues to ISMP so that we can share the lessons learned with the healthcare community. And kudos for putting the newsletter to good use and adopting many of the published error-prevention strategies! We look forward to our continued service to you and encourage your ongoing comments about the newsletter via: [email protected].


Suggested citation:

Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP). Newsletter Readers Act upon ISMP Recommendations. ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care. 2022;27(12):4-5.