Frequently Asked Questions

Pharmapod Patient Safety Software FAQs

What is the definition of a medication incident and near miss?
A medication incident is any preventable event or error that reaches a patient and that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm. Medication incidents may be related to professional practice, drug products, procedures, or systems, and include prescribing, order communication, product labelling/packaging, compounding, dispensing, distribution, administration, education, monitoring, and use. A near miss is an event that could have led to inappropriate medication use or patient harm but was intercepted before reaching the patient. Both occurrences provide valuable insight into areas of risk and may indicate where systems can be improved to prevent harm.

How will using the Pharmapod platform prevent medication incidents?
The CQI tools and resources available through the Pharmapod platform, including the incident recording platform, are designed to support pharmacists across all industries, to meet the expectations related to continuous quality improvement. Ultimately, through a better understanding of trends associated with recorded incidents and near misses, including how and why they occur, we will be able to identify solutions and recommendations to prevent those incidents from recurring and to share these learnings on a global scale with the relevant healthcare bodies via our Global Learning Health System.

What types of reports are available?
Pharmapod’s core Incident Reporting Module allows for structured reporting and management of Medication Incidents and Near Misses. Pharmapod clients have complete control over the types and quantity of data collected with respect to incidents and whether the data fields are mandatory or optional. The output of the analysis is delivered via an interactive dashboard that provides full drill-down capability at each level of the incident. Each of these incident subtypes are broken down by medication involved in a traditional “top-down” learning approach.

Are pharmacy professionals already using the incident reporting system?
Yes. We have launched in 3 countries, across over 10,000 community pharmacies and we now also have a hospital system. Pharmacists are engaged and using the platform to record medication incidents and near misses and to document their learnings and continuous quality improvement activities.

How does the platform improve medication incident reporting?
Once onboarded to the Pharmapod platform, pharmacists can anonymously report medication incidents and near misses via our incident-recording platform. This is a critical component of our vision to reduce patient harm globally, as it will lead to the collection and analysis of medication incident data to support improvements within pharmacies, long-term homes and hospitals. Also, through aggregate data obtained by the reporting, Pharmapod’s Global Response Teams consisting of clinicians, medication safety experts from community pharmacy and hospitals, physicians, and experts from academia, will be able to identify trends and areas of risk and provide appropriate guidance to pharmacy professionals across the world.

Who has access to medication incident data?
Pharmapod will receive and have access to de-identified aggregate data only for the purpose of reviewing medication incident trends and to support shared learning and system-based improvements across the healthcare profession. Pharmapod will not receive or have access to information related to a specific pharmacy, hospital, long-term home, or healthcare professional, through this program.

How is this data protected?
The Pharmapod system facilitates compliance with local pharmacy legislation and regulations. It is fully compliant with both federal and provincial data protection requirements for example, PHIPA, PIPEDA and PIPITPA as well as other legislation and authorities which provide governance on data and information protection, including the Quality Care Information Protection Act (QCIPA), the Freedom of Information and Protection Act (FIPPA), Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and the Privacy Act. Pharmapod consults with regulatory and data protection experts on an on-going basis, including Denton’s (Canada) and Sytorus (EU), to ensure compliance and to keep abreast of any legislative changes and challenges to current legislation.

Why is having this information so important?
Unfortunately, medication errors can and do happen within all health systems, and it is important that healthcare professionals do everything possible to prevent them, including learning from incidents to prevent them from recurring. Understanding why these events happened, the outcomes of the incidents and how they can be prevented requires extensive analysis of the data. Pharmapod is the only truly global learning health system that will lead to an improved understanding of the number, type, frequency, impact and cause of medication incidents in our healthcare systems, to establish clear expectations related to quality improvement and identify system-wide recommendations to reduce the risk of medication incidents across the world.

Can information from the platform be used to identify users of the system?
At an aggregate level and for our benchmarking function, only non-identifying, anonymised data is used. The incident data reported to the aggregate provincial dataset is 100% anonymous – patient or personally identifiable information is not included, to maximise reporting. Regulators do not receive or have access to information related to a specific pharmacy or pharmacy professional. Regulators tend to require access to de-identified aggregate data to review medication incident trends and to support shared learning and system-based improvements across the healthcare profession.

Can the Pharmapod platform integrate with our current platforms?
Yes it can. Where integration with internal or external systems is required, such as a Hospital system or Pharmacy Practice Management Systems (PPMS), Pharmapod accommodates data flow from the existing system into the Pharmapod system and vice versa via our RESTful APIs, scoping and conforming with each system’s data feed requirements. A key strength of Pharmapod is that it is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution – each province, county, state, jurisdiction and country have local data flow requirements that are facilitated through our effective integration processes.

For example, the Pharmapod system exports directly to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) in the UK. The NRLS is a central database of patient safety incident reports managed by the NHS.

How does the system avoid dual reporting?
Because of its sophisticated incident management capability, Pharmapod tends to become the method by which incidents are ‘managed’ within organizations such as individual pharmacies, pharmacy groups, or hospital teams, and reports are transmitted directly into the anonymous aggregate provincial database. Dual reporting is therefore avoided and data into the provincial database is maximised.

What are the training and support options available?
Pharmapod works with Regulators to develop a CQI training program for pharmacies, hospitals and care homes, which meets their specific needs. Each program captures the hearts and minds of CQI, helping teams embrace the ‘why’ behind CQI as well as the ‘how’ to manage incidents and use the system. As part of the CQI process within the program, engagement with the training material can be tracked, and feedback solicited to ensure all future support needs are met.

The system is highly intuitive to use and pharmacy colleagues can be up and running on the system in a matter of minutes. The navigation is quick and simple, adhering to best User Experience standards and is complimented by interactive tours, video tutorials, and webinar sessions. We also provide access to articles and ‘how to’ clips and materials under such headings as Setup, On-Boarding, Incident Management, User Management and Analytics.

A key differentiator for the Pharmapod solution is that our Customer Success Team is available around the clock to provide real-time support to pharmacists. Pharmacy teams can request webinars at any time for new or existing colleagues. With English and French speaking support, queries are received through phone, in-platform chat function, e-mail and social support, to deliver a world-class user experience.

Should patients be concerned about incidents being reported through the Pharmapod platform?
Errors can and do happen anywhere within our healthcare system, and it’s important that health professionals do everything they can to prevent them, including learning from incidents to prevent them from recurring. Patient personal information will not be included in any of the incident reports. The reduction of preventable harm is becoming a common theme within many healthcare organisations. Patients should feel confident that their healthcare professionals are providing safe, high-quality care and that they are committed to continuous quality improvement. The reporting of incidents and near misses is an important and positive step to enhancing patient safety and making our health systems safer for everyone.

How does Pharmapod align with the WHO Medication Safety Program?
The World Health Organization Program is a standardised medication safety program that supports continuous quality improvement for medication safety for all pharmacies. Its goal is to reduce the risk of patient harm caused by medication incidents globally. The program enables practitioners to learn from medication incidents, and better understand why they happen and how they can be prevented. Utilising both a preventative approach through proactive reviews of work processes to identify areas of risk and retrospective reviews of specific medication incidents, pharmacy professionals will be able to identify learnings that will help prevent incidents and enhance patient safety. This is in line with Pharmapod’s vision to reduce Patient Safety incidents worldwide via our Global Learning Health System by sharing the lessons learned from medication incidents through reporting, resulting in ongoing process improvements to minimise errors reducing patient safety incidents.

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