A new questionnaire, called ‘Self-assessment of the safety of the use of medicines in the Emergency Services’, has been developed by the Institute for the Safe Use of Medicines (ISMP-Spain), in collaboration with the Redfaster and Clinical Safety Working Groups of the Spanish Society of Hospital Pharmacy (SEFH) and the Spanish Society of Emergency Medicine and Emergencies (SEMES). This tool represents an adaptation of the questionnaire used in hospitals to evaluate safety in the drug utilization system. The main objective of the new questionnaire is to obtain information on safe practices in the Emergency Services and to measure their situation and evolution. The Emergency services they represent a high-risk environment due to their high occupancy, the lack of complete information about the patients due to their short stay, and the complexity of the pharmacological treatment. It is estimated that the medication errors in these units affect between 4 and 14 percent of patients.
Prevent errors in Emergency Services
The questionnaire consists of 133 questions that evaluate various practices and measures aimed at prevent medication errors. It is divided into ten key sections that influence the safety of medicines in hospitals. It highlights the importance of presence of pharmacists in the Emergency Services, who play a fundamental role in medication review and in conducting clinical activities. It is recommended that the team in charge of completing the questionnaire be made up of a manager, a doctor, a supervisor, a nurse from the Emergency Department, two pharmacists (one clinical and one from the dispensing area), a representative of the Risk Management Committee or the Working Group for the Prevention of Medication Errors of the hospital, a representative of the Nursing Department and another of the Medical Department. The questionnaire will provide key information to identify risk areas and opportunities for improvement in Emergency Services, with the aim of implementing safe practices and minimizing medication errors. This tool is expected to be of great help to healthcare professionals in their quest to improve patient safety.