Background The ‘action plan for the improvement of medication safety’ issued by the German ministry of health demands a culture of safety awareness. To achieve this goal, an emphasis on medication safety should be placed in the education of health care professionals. In this context the German Society of Hospital Pharmacists (ADKA) has developed a curriculum on medication safety.
Purpose A workshop has been developed to improve the awareness of health care professionals regarding medication errors and the risks involved. The tools allow the pharmacist to perform a self-contained failure analysis as a basis for a goal-oriented prevention strategy.
Materials and Methods The curriculum consists of three parts. After a brief introduction, the tools to develop strategies for error prevention are explained. These tools are then applied to real life examples of medication errors in the clinical routine or in the community pharmacy respectively. The curriculum has been presented to the local boards of pharmacy and the association of statutory health insurance physicians.
Results After approval by the board of pharmacy of Lower Saxony, a pilot course was conducted. Within four days of the first invitation being sent, almost 30 participants had enrolled. Finally more than 50 participants, the majority of whom were community pharmacists successfully completed the curriculum, which was evaluated by the local board of pharmacists.
Conclusions The rapid and strong response to the invitation is a sign that the subjects ‘medication safety and medication errors’ are of particular interest to community pharmacists. It also tells us that medication safety is not a substantial part of continuing education. An evaluation has shown that the time allotted for the curriculum (90 min.) is apparently too short and should be extended to at least 150 min. The participants appreciated the opportunity to develop their own strategies to prevent medication errors. The experience accumulated so far demonstrates that the basic concept of the curriculum, now available to all interested boards of pharmacists, is a promising strategy.
No conflict of interest.
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