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Given the broad range of potential causes of medication incidents, clinical and system reviews should be conducted to identify potential causes and determine appropriate recommendations.

Occurrences of harm are often complex with many contributing factors. Organizations need to:

  1. Measure and monitor the types and frequency of these occurrences.
  2. Use appropriate analytical methods to understand the contributing factors.
  3. Identify and implement solutions or interventions that are designed to prevent recurrence and reduce risk of harm.
  4. Have mechanisms in place to mitigate consequences of harm when it occurs.

    To develop a more in-depth understanding of the care delivered to patients, chart audits, incident analyses and prospective analyses can be helpful in identifying quality improvement opportunities. Links to key resources for conducting chart audits and analysis methods are included in the Hospital Harm Improvement Resources Introduction.

    If your review reveals that your medication incidents are linked to specific processes, you may find these resources helpful:
  • Canadian Patient Safety Institute. https://www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca
  • Medicines and Prescribing Centre. NICE guidelines: Medicines optimisation: the safe and effective use of medicines to enable the best possible outcomes. http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/NG5/