This year, the World Health Organisation’s annual World Patient Safety Day on 17 September 2022 will focus on medication safety, promoting safe medication practices to prevent medication errors and reducing medication-related harm.
Patient Safety Learning has pulled together some useful resources from the hub about different aspects of medication safety. Here we list seven tools and articles related to patient engagement and medication safety, including an interview with a patient advocate campaigning for transparency in medicines regulation, a blog outlining family concerns around prescribing and consent, and a number of projects that aim to enhance patient involvement in using medications safely.
A growing number of people with dementia who live in care homes are being prescribed antipsychotic medication, but there are serious questions about whether these drugs are being prescribed appropriately. In this blog, a family describes how their father with Alzheimer’s disease came to be prescribed antipsychotic medication at his care home. They raise concerns about the decision to prescribe antipsychotics when there were obvious non-drug based alternatives to pursue, the lack of involvement the family had in the decision-making process and the negative ways in which the medication has affected their father’s personality.
The Pharmacy Schools Programme is an innovative teaching resource developed by Belfast Healthy Cities. Using a health literacy approach, it is designed to be used in primary schools in Northern Ireland to help educate children about self-care, medication safety and community pharmacy services.
As part of its Third Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm, WHO launched a series of webinars to introduce the strategic framework, technical strategies, tools for reducing medication-related harm.
You can access the presentations from this webinar focused on engaging patients and their families to improve medication safety:
- Patient engagement tool: “5 Moments for Medication Safety”, Nagwa Metwally and Helen Haskell
- Patients, families and health workers partnering for medication safety, Dr Irina Papieva
- Developing programmes for patient and family engagement - Canadian experience, Ioana Popescu and Maryann Murray
In this interview, Marie Lyon talks about her campaign for justice for families affected by hormone pregnancy tests, why she is passionate about reforming medicines regulation and the important role patient campaigners play in improving patient safety.
This blog calls for action on the careful review of established pain medication when a patient is admitted to hospital. The author, Richard von Abendorff, describes the experience of two elderly patients who suffered pain due to their long term medication being stopped when they were admitted to hospital. He highlights the importance of ensuring that pain management needs are not ignored or undermined and argues that there needs to be carer and patient involvement and their consent when making a decision to stop established pain medication.
This leaflet produced by the Irish Health Services Executive (HSE) provides a central place for patients to record information about their medications. It acts as a reference point for patients to use when discussing their medications with a healthcare professional and includes a reminder of the Know, Check, Ask campaign, aimed at reducing medication errors in the community.
This blog by NHS England looks at how a service which provides bilingual medication information is helping to reduce healthcare inequalities and medication errors in London. Written Medicine’s software allows pharmacies and hospitals to translate and print medication information, instructions and warnings. Drawn from a dataset of 3,500 phrases, printed labels are available in fifteen different languages. The bilingual labels help patients take ownership of their treatment, giving them a better understanding of how to take their prescribed medication. The solution is helping to reduce errors, improve medication adherence and enhance patient safety and experience.
Take a look at our Top picks for World Patient Safety Day 2022: Medication safety in hospitals