Oct 21st 2016: The Irish Medication Safety Network (IMSN) held its 7th annual conference on Friday 21st October at Farmleigh House in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. Entitled ‘Leadership in Medication Safety’, the conference was attended by healthcare professionals, representatives of relevant state and professional bodies, and patient representatives.
Speakers included Mr. Sean Egan, Acting Head of Healthcare Regulation HIQA and Ms. Ciara Kirke, Clinical Lead Safermeds, HSE Quality Improvement Division. The conference also heard the experience of three Chief Pharmacists working in dedicated medication safety facilitator roles in acute hospitals- Dr. Eileen Relihan, Ms. Deirdre Lenehan and Ms. Anne Marie Cushen.
The focus of this year’s event was Leadership in Medication Safety and delegates heard of HIQA’s plans to commence a programme of monitoring in public acute hospitals in the area of Medication Safety. The aim of the monitoring programme is to assess the systems around safe medication practices, identify opportunities for improvement and models of good practice to reduce risks to patients.
Speaking at the conference, Mr Paul Tighe, Chairperson of the IMSN and Chief Pharmacist at St. Vincent’s University Hospital, commented that “The vision of the IMSN is to encourage safer medication use in Irish public and private hospitals. The importance of the leadership role of the Medication Safety Facilitator as part of hospital governance structures for medication safety is evident”.
Ms Ciara Kirke, Clinical Lead Safermeds, HSE Quality Improvement Division described the first Safermeds quality improvement collaborative. This collaborative model has recently commenced with hospitals to support them in assessing in-patients at risk of developing hospital-acquired blood clots and choosing the appropriate preventative treatment.
Notes to Editors
Established in 2007, the IMSN is a voluntary network of independent pharmacists working in the acute healthcare sector with a special interest in medication safety.
The network has representation from all major hospitals in the country, both public and private, reaching over 50 acute health care facilities in Ireland.
The IMSN’s principal aim is to improve patient safety with regard to the use of medicines through improved sharing of information throughout the acute healthcare system and the adoption of national and global initiatives to help minimise risks to patients.
To this end, it has published several alerts, guidelines and briefing documents, available on its website, www.imsn.ie . It also liaises with relevant state bodies and working groups to develop national patient safety initiatives.
Its members are active in developing patient safety initiatives within Irish acute hospitals and are also involved with Irish universities in delivering medication safety education modules as part of undergraduate medical, nursing and pharmacy degree courses and post-graduate programmes.
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