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CPSI Share                                                  
5/31/2011 6:00 PM

​​​​The Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI), in partnership with the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada (ISMP Canada) and Canada Health Infoway (CHI) hosted the first national invitational Summit to accelerate a system-wide strategy to implement medication reconciliation (MedRec).  Mounting evidence indicates that medication discrepancies and adverse drug events at interfaces of care pose a significant patient safety risk. In Canada, published studies have demonstrated that 40 to 50 per cent of patients experience unintentional medication discrepancies or potential errors upon admission to acute care hospitals and 40 per cent of patients experience discrepancies at hospital discharge.

During the National Summit, held in Toronto, Ontario on February 10, 2011, healthcare CEOs, senior leaders, representatives from national associations, provincial quality councils, physicians, nurses and pharmacists from across Canada worked together to identify themes that would accelerate and optimize MedRec across the continuum of care. Summit leaders agreed that medication reconciliation should be recognized as a significant element of patient safety in Canada.  Recommendations from the summit will form the basis of a national strategy to ensure the advancement of medication reconciliation across the healthcare system.

The common themes identified to accelerate and optimize MedRec across the continuum of care include:

  • Inter-Professional Engagement – A coalition of leaders from professional healthcare organizations will be established to outline expectations and standards of practice with respect to MedRec.
  • Leadership Accountability – Senior Leadership commitment is critical and MedRec must be identified as a strategic priority for healthcare organizations; dedicating resources and clear accountability for results, including goals, timelines, accountability for implementation, evaluation, and progress reporting.
  • Public-Consumer and Informal Caregiver Engagement – A comprehensive strategy will engage the public and provide tools and resources to support their role in the MedRec process.
  • Physician Role – Identifying the role of the physician in MedRec and ensuring tools and resources are intuitive and readily accessible and available to facilitate the process.
  • Culture and Human Systems – A culture that includes a commitment to stakeholder engagement, teamwork and communications are absolute requisites if MedRec is to be successfully implemented and sustained across the health system.
  • Education and Training – Are critical drivers for success in implementing MedRec; a multi-level strategy from academia to frontline practitioners will be developed.
  • Information Systems and Technology – An electronic health record that encompasses the entire spectrum of health services in Canada will be a key component of the national strategy for MedRec.
  • Tools and Resources (Enablers) – The MedRec tools developed by Safer Healthcare Now! with the leadership of ISMP Canada will form the basis of a comprehensive education strategy to support the work ahead.
  • Measurement – Measurement that is meaningful and relevant to the process will be integral to the successful implementation of medication reconciliation in Canada.  These need to include metrics to measure medication reconciliation processes from both a quality and outcome perspective.

A Pan-Canadian Steering Committee, including national organizations and key decision makers will be created to develop and implement the national strategy to achieve the bold aim of “MedRec for all – at every transition of care – in all sectors of the system.” The Steering Committee will support and guide the development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive action plan with outcome measures, financial accountability and regular reporting requirements.

Click here for a copy of the Summit report, Optimizing Medication Safety at Care Transitions – Creating a National Challenge, which includes the overall findings, tactics and recommendations for the work ahead.

For more information on this important work, contact the CPSI Medication Reconciliation Canada Co-leads:  Marie Owen at the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, or Marg Colquhoun at ISMP-Canada