Patient safety

Patient safety lies at the heart of all representations made by EAHP and its member associations. The importance of patient safety for hospital pharmacy practice has also been manifested in a dedicated section of the European Statements of Hospital Pharmacy. As stewards of patients' medication safety, hospital pharmacists are the key stakeholders ensuring the safe, effective and rational use of medicines by upholding the "rights" of patients. This includes improving the safety of using medications, especially high-risk medication and look-alike and sound-alike medications, through their close surveillance as well as advising on the most appropriate use of medicines.

In October 2020, EAHP's member associations adopted a new position paper on patient safety specifically focusing on medication safety. In particular medication errors, which occur when a medicine has been inappropriately prescribed, prepared, dispensed or administered to a patient, are a key concern for hospital pharmacists. 

In its position paper, EAHP

  1. recommends a wider application of different risk management tools, including but not limited to single unit dose barcoding, risk management and quality control committees and computerised order entry systems in hospitals to lower medication errors for the benefits of patients.
  2. advocates for the uptake of closed loop medication management to facilitate a faster and more accurate administration of medicines in hospitals.
  3. recommends the implementation of clinical pharmacy services that can guarantee the medication appropriateness, reconciliation and the personalisation of therapies to further enhance the safety and the quality of the pharmaceutical care in Europe.
  4. calls on national governments and health system providers to guarantee an adequate number of hospital pharmacists and the full utilisation of pharmacy services to improve concordance.
  5. requests the strengthening of interprofessional collaboration and communication among healthcare personnel in all healthcare settings.
  6. recommends the universal application of infection prevention and control measures by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) among healthcare professionals.

Read EAHP's Position Paper on Patient Safety HERE

Last update: 16 October 2020