June 26, 2017

National Pharmacy Experts Conduct Rigorous Product Evaluations Contributing to Safe Medication Management

Over two days, 43 experts from across the country came together to evaluate products submitted as part of HealthPRO’s 2018 Pharmacy RFP, based on criteria that focus on minimizing the risk of preventable medication errors. 

“HealthPRO’s pharmacy product evaluations are imperative to ensuring frontline clinicians have the necessary information to safely administer medication to their patients,” says Sherry Miyashita, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Interior Health, Pharmacy Services, BC. “Safe, quality medication is a vital component of delivering safe, quality care.”

The criteria used to evaluate products are based on the most current Health Canada guidelines, Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada (ISMP Canada) recommendations, and the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP) professional practice standards.

“From packaging to barcodes to ampoule size—and everything in between—conducting an objective, practical product evaluation is critical to ensuring that only safe and high-quality products are selected for HealthPRO contracts,” says Tara-Lee Doctorow, Purchasing and Inventory Technician, Mount Sinai Health System.

The elements evaluated by more than 43 pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and nurses, included:

  • the presence of a barcode to improve traceability
  • presence of information on unit-of-use
  • print size and style to ensure ease of legibility
  • presence of latex
  • presence of preservatives
  • appropriateness of packaging for use in the hospital drug distribution system

“Reducing the number of adverse medication events starts with reducing opportunities for those events to happen,” says Barb Sproll, Medication Safety Pharmacist, WRHA Pharmacy Program.  “To that end, I’m very pleased HealthPRO has made barcoding a mandatory requirement on injectables as it is a great step toward improved medication safety.”

The results of the product evaluation process will be incorporated into the scoring of bids received for the Pharmacy Injectables RFP.  The contract awards meeting with PAC members will be held in September 2017, with the newly awarded contracts to begin June 1, 2018.