Conference

IMSN Conference 2023 Synopsis:

The IMSN Conference 2023, theme ‘Smarter technology for a safer tomorrow‘, successfully took place on Friday 24th November 2023.

Professor Stephen Byrne, Deputy President and Registrar, University College Cork (UCC) welcomed delegates to the Aula Maxima at UCC & introduced Minister Simon Coveney.

Enterprise, Trade and Employment Minister Simon Coveney TD opened the Irish Medication Safety Network (IMSN) 15th annual conference acknowledging the IMSN as a leader for medication safety in Ireland and congratulated the network on its achievements to date. The Minister emphasized the “power of collective knowledge” and commended the theme for the conference, smarter technology for a safer tomorrow, asking delegates to reflect on “how we apply digitalisation to improve patient outcomes”. The minister’s full speech is available at this link.

The IMSN Chair, Niamh O’Hanlon, thanked Professor Stephen Byrne for inviting the Network to host the conference at the prestigious and beautiful surroundings of University College Cork. Niamh paid tribute to previous IMSN colleague and friend, Sarah Fagan, who passed away earlier this year and whose absence is keenly felt by the Network and remembered at this year’s conference. Niamh provided an overview of the Network’s national and international activity and engagement over the last year before introducing the 2023 agenda.

Professor Tamasine Grimes, Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice, Trinity College Dublin, commenced discussions on utilising technology to improve medication safety by introducing the National Pharmacy eHealth Group (PeHG). This group is facilitating the initial stakeholder discussions needed to achieve the “ambitious” eHealth programme under the Department of Health’s new Digital Health Strategic Framework to enhance safe and efficient patient care with a focus of improving communication and understanding at transitions of care.

This was followed by Sinead Kelly, Co-Chair of IMSN eHealth group, Chief II Pharmacist, St James’ Hospital, who provided an overview of outcomes from the IMSN eHealth Medication Safety Working Group with considerations for assessing technology related medication errors.

The morning was closed by Muriel Pate, Chief II Pharmacist, HSE Acute Operations & Nina Acosta, Senior Pharmacist, HSE Acute Hospital Drug Management Programme, who outlined the medication safety focus of the Hospital Medicines Management System (HMMS) which will support semantic interoperability.

After lunch the conference heard from Brid Ryan, Chief Pharmacist, HSE Clinical Lead ePharmacy, on the progress to date on the National e-Prescribing Project which has established a governance structure to ensure that patient representatives, health care professionals, regulators and other stakeholders are collaborated with during the planning and implementation of e-Prescribing. The concept of an Individual Health Identifier (IHI) number to allow patient identification was discussed, as well the importance of the National Medicinal Product Catalogue (NMPC) for standardising identification of medicines. These developments are crucial for e-Prescribing systems to support the movement of standardised medicine information at interfaces of care.

The agenda continued with Professor Emma Wallace, GP & Professor of General Practice, UCC, providing an excellent review of medicines optimisation for older community-dwelling people with multi-morbidity and the risk of prescribing cascades, commenting that “e-Prescribing has been a huge enabler of chronic disease management”.

The conference concluded with the ever popular PEARLs session whereby medication safety initiatives and quality improvement projects implemented across Ireland were presented:

  • Optimising communication of medication review recommendations in older adults with cancer
  • Exploring methods to reduce high-alert medication incidents in Galway University Hospitals
  • Improving postoperative analgesia and associated prescribing on an orthopaedic ward
  • Interventions to reduce incidence of hospital-acquired Clostridioides difficile in a HSE model 3 acute hospital
  • Safety culture in Irish community pharmacies: a cross-sectional study on patient safety culture

The conference was closed by Professor Laura Sahm, Vice Dean of School of Pharmacy, UCC who commended the Network on an “exceptional” conference at an “exciting stage of pharmacy development” and looked forward to future collaboration with IMSN.

The IMSN extends a sincere thanks to UCC and all attendees for an engaging conference.

The IMSN is delighted to announce that next year, the Network will collaborate with the Department of Health in Northern Ireland to host the first all island medication safety conference at Dublin Castle in November 2024. This will be a huge step forward for medication safety in Ireland and facilitate more collaborate working to improve outcomes for patients in Ireland.

Presentations from the IMSN conference 2023 are now available:

PEARLS:

CONTENT FROM PREVIOUS CONFERENCES

Presentations available from our virtual IMSN Conference 2022 are below:

Irish hospital initiatives to improve safe use of medications (PEARLs):

Presentations available from our virtual IMSN Conference 2021 are below :

Presentations from our 2019 Conference.

IMSN Introduction

Collaborative approach to reducing hospital acquired venous thromboembolism from a Patient, Clinician & Group Hospital Manager perspective

HIQA Phase II Medication Safety Monitoring in Hospitals

Collaborative working at pace & scale- an example of iPACT, the International Pharmacists Anticoagulation Care Taskforce

Medication Safety and Open Disclosure- An Evolving Landscape

The Know Check Ask campaign- mobilising people power for medication safety