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1/2/2012 5:00 PM

​​​It was National Medication Safety Day at Canada’s Virtual Forum on Patient Safety and Quality Improvement with sessions focused on medication safety across transitions of care during the third of the five-day virtual program. 

Medication Reconciliation Co-leads Canada, Marg Colquhoun (ISMP-Canada) and Marie Owen (Canadian Patient Safety Institute) opened the day with an overview of the national commitment to optimizing medication safety and next steps for the National Strategic Advisory Group in advancing communication, leadership accountability, inter-professional engagement, accreditation, IT support and research.  The Cross Canada MedRec Check-Up interactive map summarizes medication safety initiatives underway across Canada.

The Canadian Medication Incident Reporting and Prevention System (CMIRPS) is a collaborative program for healthcare providers to report and prevent harmful medication incidents in Canada. Bonnie Salsman (ISMP-Canada) and Margaret Zimmerman (Health Canada) provided examples of reporting for near miss, no harm and harmful incidents; consumers can now report medication incidents at  The Canadian Patient Safety Institute information-sharing resource to help prevent and mitigate patient safety incidents was also highlighted;  provides an in-depth analysis of almost 700 patient safety incident advisories, alerts and recommendations.

Gordon_Hufty.jpgThe four panel presentations provided an overview of a number of innovative projects to improve medication safety. Elaine Wong (Eastern Health) outlined tools introduced to support safe opioid medication practice in paediatrics. Allen Huang (McGill University) described the Right RX research trial currently underway to develop a medication reconciliation process at discharge that ensures the right medication from hospital to home. Winchester District Memorial Hospital has achieved 100 per cent medication reconciliation compliance and Lynn Hall says that making MedRec a strategic priority, being creative and keeping it simple resulted increased patient safety and staff satisfaction and decreased readmission rates and length of stay. Deb Gordon and Gail Hufty (Alberta Health Services) reviewed the strategies used to develop and implement a comprehensive medication reconciliation program province-wide. The panel discussion centered on bridging the communication gap in improving medication safety through educational strategies, tools, context and culture, and patient involvement.

The French session focused on medication reconciliation in long-term care and highlighted the tools created and partnership established by a health region in Quebec.  All sessions are archived and can be viewed at your convenience on the Canada’s Forum website.

The Virtual Forum continues through Friday.  Click here to register and view sessions in real-time.  Join the conversation and send you questions, comments and stories to: