Federal regulators have awarded a contract to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) to conduct an assessment on medication errors in perioperative hospital settings nationwide.
The ISMP issued a press release on March 12, announcing it had received the contract from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As a result, the ISMP will have hospitals conduct a medication safety self assessment for perioperative settings, beginning in September 2020.
The assessment will apply to hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and other surgical sites, and will look at medication safety from when a patient is prepared for surgery until they are discharged home.
According to the ISMP, performing the self assessment will put medical facilities in compliance with requirements by The Joint Commission, which calls for proactive risk assessments on high-volume, high-risk, or problem-prone procedures. It will also satisfy requirements by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on developing data-driven quality assessments and performance improvement programs.
Facilities will be allowed to participate in the assessment anonymously through an online, password-protected website.
“ISMP has conducted multiple medication safety self assessments for specific care settings and focus areas, including for hospitals, community/ambulatory pharmacies, high-alert medications, oncology, and antithrombotic therapy,” the press release states. “Several national medication safety initiatives have been created based on data from ISMP’s previous self assessments, and other countries have adopted some of the self assessment tools to gather information and develop goals for their own safety efforts.”
Last month the ISMP issued a list of best medication safety practices for hospitals, adding a number of new recommendations on handling opioid prescribing and on recommended rules for using the override feature on automated dispensing cabinets (ADCs).
The ISMP first began issuing medication safety best practices in 2014. The recommendations are based on error reports received through the ISMP National Medication Errors Reporting Program and are reviewed by an external expert advisory panel and approved by the ISMP board of trustees.
Every year nearly 9,000 people in the U.S. die from medication errors. Most errors occur when healthcare staff are ordering the medications or during the prescribing stage. Errors often lead to patients receiving the wrong medication or receiving a medication at the wrong dose or wrong frequency.
The ISMP is a nonprofit organization focusing on preventing medication errors and other safety issues surrounding medication dispensing.