medication safety; patient safety; medication management; safe medication use; medication errors; drug use errors; patient care management; medication therapy management


Other Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences | Patient Safety | Quality Improvement



Medication errors continue to be a leading cause of medical errors. In the United States alone, 7000 to 9000 people die annually due to a medication error, and many more are harmed. Since 2014, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) has advocated for several best practices in acute care facilities derived from reports of patient harm.


The medication safety best practices chosen for this assessment were based on the 2020 ISMP Targeted Medication Safety Best Practices (TMSBP) and health system-identified opportunities. Each month, for 9 months, select best practices were covered with associated tools to assess the current state, document the gap, and close identified gaps.


Overall, 121 acute care facilities participated in most safety best practice assessments. Of the best practices assessed, there were 8 practices that more than 20 hospitals documented as not implemented and 9 practices where more than 80 hospitals had fully implemented them.


Full implementation of medication safety best practices is a resource-intensive process that requires strong change management leadership at a local level. As noted by the redundancy in published ISMP TMSBP, there is an opportunity to continue improving safety in acute care facilities across the United States.


Fixed table 1 callout on page 168.