Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Irish Medication Safety Network Conference 2023 takes place at UCC

Professor Stephen Byrne, Deputy President and Registrar, UCC welcomed the Irish Medication Safety Network to the Aula Maxima in UCC, and introduced Minister Simon Coveney

Opening the 15th annual conference of the Irish Medication Safety Network (IMSN) at University College Cork, on Friday, November 24, 2023, Minister Simon Coveney, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment of Ireland congratulated the network on its highly successful series of annual conferences, and acknowledged the work of the IMSN in mitigating risk for patients in Irish healthcare.

Niamh O’Hanlon, chair of the Irish Medication Safety Network reiterated her thanks to Prof. Stephen Byrne for inviting the Network to the prestigious surroundings of University College Cork, and the  appreciation of the Network for Minister Coveney in opening the conference.

Niamh outlined the current activity and engagement of the Network, and provided an overview of the 2023 agenda.

The day’s theme Smarter Technology for a Safer Tomorrow kicked off in earnest with a presentation from Prof. Tamasine Grimes Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice, Trinity College Dublin on current practice and plans for eprescribing development and eHealth progression, to enhance safe and efficient delivery of healthcare for patients in Ireland.

This was followed by Sinead Kelly, co-Chair of IMSN eHealth group, Chief II Pharmacist, St James’ Hospital, who provided an overview of outcomes from the IMSN eHealth Medication Safety Working Group, in a very interesting review of measures to improve safety within the e-health landscape.

The morning’s presentations were closed by Muriel Pate, Chief II Pharmacist, HSE Acute Operations, and Nina Acosta, Senior Pharmacist, HSE Acute Hospital Drug Management Programme, who outlined the role of safety in the national Hospital Medicines Management System (HMMS).

In the afternoon, the conference heard from Brid Ryan, Chief Pharmacist, HSE Clinical Lead ePharmacy on the progress thus far on the National e-Prescribing Project.

The conference proceeded with Professor Emma Wallace, GP and Professor of General Practice, UCC, who took delegates on a stimulating tour of Medicines Optimisation for Older Community-Dwelling People with Multi-Morbidity

National projects, collaborative learning and individual organisational quality improvement projects were presented in the ever popular PEARLs session. Among these were a range of local initiatives, from a geographically disparate range of hospitals, outlining such work as:

  • Optimising communication of medication review recommendations in older adults with cancer;
  • Exploring methods to reduce high-alert medication incidents in Galway University Hospitals;
  • Improving postoperative analgesia and associated prescribing on the orthopaedic ward;
  • Interventions to reduce incidence of hospital-acquired Clostridioides difficile in a HSE model 3 acute hospital, and
  • Safety culture in Irish community pharmacies: a cross-sectional study on patient safety culture.

The conference was closed by Professor Laura Sahm, Vice Dean of School of Pharmacy, University College Cork, who welcomed the holding of the event at UCC, and looked forward to future collaboration with IMSN, and stated: “We are thrilled to have hosted this important event showcasing the exceptional work of pharmacists collaborating as part of the multidisciplinary team focused on patient safety.”

Sincere thanks to UCC for hosting the Network
Finally, looking to 2024, the Irish Medication Safety Network is delighted to announce the first all island medication safety conference showcasing medication safety initiatives, learning and sharing to enhance safer patient care in both the Republic and North of Ireland.

Supported by the Department of Health, the 2024 all island medication safety conference is a joint collaborative between this Irish Medication Safety Network, the Department of Health in Northern Ireland and the HSE.

In collaborative launching of the 2024 event at the 2023 conference, Prof. Cathy Harrison, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer at Department of Health in Northern Ireland informed delegates that: “Medication safety is a priority for all of us, and I look forward to more collaborative working to improve outcomes for people across Ireland. We are taking a huge step forward for medication safety across the Island of Ireland with plans to hold the first All Island Medication safety conference together at Dublin Castle, next year in November 2024”

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