Promoting patient safety through interprofessional collaboration

Sixth annual UBC Interprofessional Medication Reconciliation event to introduce new curriculum designed to enhance patient safety

On Tuesday, March 28, 2017, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC, in conjunction with the Faculty of Medicine and School of Nursing, will host the sixth annual Interprofessional Medication Reconciliation Event (IP MedRec) at the UBC Vancouver campus, with distributed site participation in Victoria, Kelowna, and Prince George. 

This landmark event draws over 750 participants each year from UBC pharmacy, medicine, and nursing, together with nursing students from UBC-Okanagan, the University of Victoria, and the University of Northern British Columbia. The event is also open to practicing pharmacists, with 8 pharmacists from community sites in Victoria, Kelowna and Prince George participating this year.

Medication reconciliation is a process by which members of a patient's multidisciplinary health care team collaborate to identify a complete list of medications the patient is taking as they proceed through transition points in care. This year, for the first time, the IP MedRec curriculum will include admission medication reconciliation content. This new content will equip participants with an understanding of the importance of accurately identifying medication taken at home upon arrival in the emergency department.

The 2017 program will also include a mandatory safe medication order component designed by UBC Medicine. This will ensure participants have a consistent understanding of how to minimize patient safety issues related to prescription writing errors.

"As part of Transition Into Clinical Education (TICE), second-year medical students will participate in this interdisciplinary medication reconciliation initiative, which will allow them to build an ongoing working relationship with other healthcare professional students early in their career,” says Dr. David Li, second-year coordinator, UBC Faculty of Medicine. 

“The Safe Medication Order Writing component will teach students how to properly prescribe medication and look for ways to enhance patient safety."

Third-year undergraduate nursing and Master of Nursing - Nurse Practitioner students will also participate in IP MedRec.  

“For the first time, all third year students will participate in this event,” says Elsie Tan, senior instructor, UBC School of Nursing.

“UBC nursing undergraduate and nurse practitioner students have found this experience invaluable and they are excited to be partners in this learning opportunity.”

“This simulation-based interprofessional learning has the ability to change student’s attitudes towards team-based care and ensure well-coordinated care for their future patients," agrees Fairleth McCuaig, coordinator of the UBC nurse practitioner program.

The 2017 Interprofessional Medication Reconciliation event is co-coordinated by UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences faculty members Drs. Judith Soon and Arun Verma, with interprofessional facilitation by Jason Min; UBC Faculty of Medicine, Drs. David Li, Mark Fok and Christie Newton; and UBC School of Nursing, Elsie Tan and Fairleth McCuaig. Facilitation at the UBC site will be by Drs. Mark Fok and Dan Martinusen, and Jason Min. At the distributed sites, facilitation will be provided by Dr. Richard Bachand (Vancouver Island Health Authority) and Dr. Margaret Manville (Island Medical Program), Robert Pammett (Northern Health Authority) and Dr. Catharine Textor (Northern Medical Program), as well as pharmacists Emma Kim and Dr. Barbara Falkner and Dr. Brandy Clement (Southern Medical Program). Also involved are Jennifer MacMillan, Kathleen Crowley, and Nawal Lasfar in the Dean's Office, UBC Faculty of Medicine.

“Patient safety related to medication use continues to be an issue as patients transition through care,” says Dr. Arun Verma, instructor, UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

“The IP MedRec event provides a valuable opportunity for our students to learn to interact with other key members of the healthcare team, and contribute their knowledge of medication effectiveness, safety, and value to decisions made by the team."

Image: Participants in the 2016 Medication Reconcilation Interprofessional Event. Ivan Yastrebov, UBC Pharm Sci.