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St James’s Hospital initiative wins international medication safety award

By Catherine Reilly - 05th Nov 2021

Closeup view of group of blue pills

A team at St James’s Hospital in Dublin has received a ‘Cheers Award’ from the Institute for Safe Medication Practice (ISMP), a US-based non-profit organisation devoted to preventing medication errors.

The St James’s team’s ‘Medication Safety Minute’ is an innovative education tool that has been developed to promote the safe prescription of medication to patients. The project emerged from the review of real-world medication errors and discussions about how to optimally communicate the learning points to prescribers in the age of information overload.

The initiative is based on the concept of ‘microlearning’ which involves the delivery of concise nuggets of information that are presented in a question and answer, two-slide format, which recipients can review and digest within one minute or less. Each week a new minute is distributed to recipients, allowing for the easy digestion of complex information.

The project is the only European initiative to be awarded a ‘Cheers Award’ at the 24th annual awards ceremony. The Cheers Awards take place each year and seek to highlight institutions and individuals that ensure that the implementation of medication safety strategies stretch far beyond a few individuals or a single department and are fully integrated into their organisation’s culture and clinical practice.

During its more than 25-year history, ISMP has helped make a difference in the lives of millions of patients and healthcare professionals.

The Medication Safety Minute is a collaborative project undertaken by Dr Barry O’ Connell, Dr Una Kennedy and Medication Safety Facilitator, Dr Eileen Relihan, all of St James’s Hospital, Dublin. The project resources are currently used by 24 hospitals in Ireland and by a number of university undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

The material has also been made available as a free online access resource in the form of a digital flipbook as well as being published weekly on a dedicated Twitter page, @medsafetymin.

The awards ceremony is set to take place Tuesday, 7 December. The event will be hosted virtually with attendees joining remotely.

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