Patient Safety Resource Center

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Patient Safety
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Welcome to the Patient Safety Resource Center
Safety is a critical component to ensuring that patients receive the best possible care, and pharmacists are well positioned to improve the quality of health care through patient safety interventions and strategies.

Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA) has developed this center to provide both patients and pharmacy professionals with valuable resources and to empower them with information that will improve safety on both sides of the pharmacist-patient relationship. Click on the links provided to access resources geared toward patients or pharmacy professionals.

Importance of Patient-Provider Communication
One of the most important components to patient safety is open communication between patients and their health care providers. This encourages patients to become active members of their health care team and promotes improved health outcomes.

The Indian Health Service Three Prime Question method is an interactive way to approach patient counseling through the use of open-ended questions. There are three primary questions that patients should ask about their medications and that pharmacists should be prepared to answer. This allows the pharmacist to assess the patient’s understanding and fill in any gaps while respecting the patient’s time and knowledge.

Recommendations for Improving Patient Safety and Incident Reporting within the Pharmacy Workplace

A White Paper by the Michigan Pharmacists Association Workplace Task Force

Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA) identified medication and patient safety as a key strategic issue for 2016 and subsequently formed the Workplace Task Force to address these issues. Since its formation, the task force surveyed approximately three hundred pharmacy personnel to identify trends and challenges to medication safety Michigan pharmacists currently face throughout their pharmacy practices. As a result of the survey, the Workplace Task Force created this document in an effort to define the pharmacy roles, responsibilities and contributions for ensuring patient safety in Michigan. 

Access the full White Paper here

  1. What did the doctor tell you the medication was for? This question allows the pharmacist to prompt the patient to discuss the purpose of the medication in regard to what it is supposed to do and what problems or symptoms it is supposed to help.

  2. How did the doctor tell you to take the medication? This question promotes discussion of how to use the medication. Concerns that can be addressed include how often the medication should be taken, how much is to be taken and for how long, and what to do if a dose is missed.

  3. What did the doctor tell you to expect? This question allows the patient to discuss expectations about the medication including good and bad effects, what precautions need to be taken, how you will know if the medication is working, and what should be done if there is a bad reaction.
Source: The Student National Pharmaceutical Association Clinical Skills Program

National Patient Safety Organizations

Below are Web sites for many of the national patient safety organizations that both the public and pharmacists may find valuable.

  • Alliance for Patient Medication Safety (APMS)
    APMS was established by the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations to encourage a culture of safety by providing recommendations on best practices and workflow processes designed to reduce medication errors, improve medication use and minimize patient risk. Their Web site offers services, information for patients and their families, resources, news and contact information.

  • American Society of Medication Safety Officers (ASMSO)
    ASMSO was developed to advance and encourage excellence in safe medication use by providing communication, leadership, direction and education among its members. Their Web site offers career and certification information, a discussion board, education, event details, links and more.

  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Partnership for Patients
    The Partnership for Patients initiative is a public-private partnership working to improve the quality, safety and affordability of health care for all Americans. Their Web site offers information on hospital engagement networks, community-based care transitions, patient and family engagement, and various resources to help improve care.

  • Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP)
    ISMP is devoted to medication error prevention and safe medication use. ISMP represents more than 35 years of experience in helping health care practitioners keep patients safe and continues to lead efforts to improve the medication use process. Their Web site offers newsletters, webinars, educational resources, tools, frequently asked questions and more.

  • National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCC MERP)
    The mission of the NCC MERP, an independent body comprised of 27 national organizations, is to maximize the safe use of medications and to increase awareness of medication errors through open communication, increased reporting and promotion of medication error prevention strategies.

  • VA National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS)
    The NCPS was established in 1999 to develop and nurture a culture of safety throughout the Veterans Health Administration. Their goal is the nationwide reduction and prevention of inadvertent harm to patients as a result of their care. Patient safety managers at 153 VA hospitals and patient safety officers at 21 VA regional headquarters participate in the program. Their Web site offers information for patients, alerts and advisories, fact sheets, publications, a glossary of patient safety terms and more.

The Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a complete directory that lists additional patient safety organizations online.