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The European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) recently opened the doors to its 27th Congress. The Special Interest Group (SIG) for the Investigation of Medication Errors in Intensive Care Units ( financially supported by BD) used this opportunity to share its findings. Through the work carried out over the past 1.5 years, the SIG developed and prioritised policy recommendations to enhance medication safety, which may contribute to improving patient safety and reducing medication errors in ICUs across Europe. These can be found in the report that the SIG released recently.

Medication errors are recognised as a major patient safety problem. They occur in all stages of the medication management process and have the potential to lead to patient harm, prolonged hospital stays, readmission or even death. Different initiatives to improve medication safety in hospitals have been taken to reach the World Health Organisation’s target of globally reducing avoidable harm. Patients admitted to ICUs are more susceptible to medication errors due to the complexity of the treatment they receive. 

The SIG was tasked with determining the prevalence of medication errors; investigating potential contributing factors to medication errors; identifying prevention strategies in ICUs; exploring patient safety culture and medication safety within ICUs; examining prevention strategies for improving medication safety in the ICU environment; and developing and prioritising policy recommendations to support medication safety improvements across Europe.

The full report can be accessed at: sig_for_the_investigation_of_medication_ errors_in_intensive_care_units.pdf