Background: Maryland hospitals have been improving the safety of medication use practices since 2000. A retrospective analysis of 35 hospitals was conducted for 2005–2007 to determine the changes in medication use practices, communication methods within hospitals, patient education and changes in medical record management.
Methods: Thirty-five Maryland hospitals completed the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Medication Safety Self-Assessment for Hospitals, a voluntary initiative to improve the safety of medication use. A weighting structure is applied to calculate key element scores, core characteristic scores and overall self-assessment scores that were used in ANOVA and regression analyses.
Findings: The state-wide aggregate score significantly increased from 74.2% in 2005 to 81.2% in 2007 (p<0.05). The 35 hospitals scored highest in the following key areas in 2007: drug standardisation, storage and distribution (90.2%); drug labelling, packaging and nomenclature (88.1%); and environmental factors (84.3%). Results indicated that hospitals scored lowest in the key element area related to accessibility of patient information (72.5%) and in the core characteristics pertaining to redundancies and independent double checks (64.2%) in 2007. A substantial number of hospitals had positive and significant (p<0.05) changes in certain key elements and/or core characteristics. Few hospitals showed significant (p<0.05) decreases in their scores.
Conclusion: MEDSAFE has directly assisted Maryland hospitals in improving medication use safety. The strategies and tools of MEDSAFE have been used in Maryland since 2000 and Singapore and Austria since 2006.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Competing interests None.
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