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Using the ISMP Medication Safety Self-Assessment to Improve Medication Use processes

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Background: The 194-item Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) Medication Safety Self-AssessmentTM for hospitals is being used by a 21-hospital collaborative as a framework for understanding, evaluating, and systematically implementing medication use system safety improvements.

Methods: The results of the self-assessment were used to prioritize and organize the review of medication use processes, in which each self-assessment–defined "representative characteristic" is reviewed in detail, and "best implementation practices" for the characteristic are established. The collaborative concurrently identifies educational needs and develops tools to assist organizations in implementing improvements.

Results: By December 2002 participating organizations had implemented a wide variety of medication safety improvements. Collaborative member scores for the self-assessment increased approximately 20% during the initial assessment when the self-assessment was repeated by members in the second quarter of 2002.

Summary: Participant progress in improving medication safety practices is supportive of collaborative methods and the value of completing the ISMP self-assessment, expanding on the knowledge gained, developing effective implementation tools, and systematically applying lessons learned.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-05-01

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