Irish company Pharmapod has been selected by the Ontario College of Pharmacists to implement a medication error reporting system and standardized approach to continuous quality assurance in pharmacies throughout the province. The first phase of this medication safety program rolls out later this fall among at least 100 community pharmacies, with full implementation among the province’s more than 4,000 community pharmacies to commence in late 2018.
“Understanding why errors happen can help reduce the risk of recurrence and ultimately protect patients. Our goal, therefore, is the implementation of a comprehensive, practical and flexible continuous quality assurance program for pharmacies that will help reduce the risk of medication incidents and enhance patient safety,” said Nancy Lum-Wilson, CEO and Registrar, Ontario College of Pharmacists. “We believe Pharmapod’s solution is an ideal choice for Ontario’s pharmacies, which will benefit from an innovative technical platform developed by pharmacy professionals for pharmacy professionals”.
In June 2017, College Council unanimously endorsed the implementation of a medication safety program for Ontario’s pharmacies. Among the core elements of this program is a requirement for pharmacies and pharmacy professionals to anonymously report medication errors to a third party. Reasons behind medication incidents, including near misses, will be analyzed and shared throughout the province to prevent errors from recurring and, ultimately, protect patients.
Along with working with the College to develop all aspects of the medication incident reporting platform, Pharmapod will be responsible for providing training and continuous quality improvement processes and tools for Ontario pharmacies, analyzing provincial medication incident data and making available reports to individual pharmacies. The College will receive aggregate data which will help it understand and monitor trends and work with Pharmapod and other partners to share learnings and develop tools and resources to help pharmacies apply these learnings to their practice.
“Today’s announcement is a tremendous boost to Pharmapod in effectively scaling in the US,” said Sean Davis, Director of North America at Enterprise Ireland, the national trade agency which supports Pharmapod. “It presents an exciting new opportunity for growth, and Enterprise Ireland will continue to support Pharmapod’s expansion in North America.”
“If you can’t measure something you can’t improve it,” said Leonora O’Brien, CEO of Pharmapod. “This important initiative will introduce an effective system to measure causes and potential causes of patient harm and track improvements over time. We are delighted to be working with the regulator in Ontario to deliver engaging and effective tools for the pharmacy teams.”