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HIQA begins medication safety inspections in public hospitals

Phase one of the medication safety monitoring programme will be to conduct one day on-site announced inspections. Hospitals will be notified of an intention to inspect in writing 10 working days in advance.

“HIQA will be reviewing medication safety practices in public acute hospitals in Ireland. Hospitals should already have structures in place for medication safety to standardise practices and strive to develop a culture of safety,” said Ms Aoife Lenihan lead inspector on the medication safety monitoring programme.

“HIQA inspections will interview staff, speak with patients, observe clinical areas and review documentation in relation to this to gather a comprehensive oversight of medication practices.”

A phased approach for monitoring medication safety in public acute hospitals will commence. The first phase will initially focus on the fundamental governance and structure requirements to support a medication safety programme.

“Medications are the most commonly used intervention in healthcare, and advances in medication usage continue to play a key role in improving patient treatment success,” said Ms Aoife Lenihan,

“However, where medicines are used, the potential for error, such as in prescribing, administering or monitoring, also exists. Medication safety has been identified by a number of bodies in Ireland as a key focus for improvement and it is estimated that on average, at least one medication error per hospital patient occurs each day.”

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