Department of Health updates the Standard on Reporting Medication Errors
3 Jul, 2019: The Department of Health—Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of the healthcare sector in Abu Dhabi, has published an updated Standard on Reporting Medication Errors (ME). It specifies the monitoring, reporting and evaluation responsibilities of healthcare professionals and facilities to ensure prevention of MEs in the future.
The updated Standard adopts the "Culture of Safety", designed to promote the development and implementation of the Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) system – a concept adopted by international organisations such as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Under the updated standard, healthcare facilities must report ME incidents associated with permanent patient harm, that require intervention to sustain life, or associated with patient death within 48 hours of identifying and documenting the error. Whereas, MEs that caused no harm or temporary harm to the patient can be reported to DoH on a monthly basis.
Dr. Khaled Al Jaberi, Director of Healthcare Licensing & Medical Education Division at DoH said: DoH continues to lay the foundation for corporate governance, implementing the highest standards of services and safety in quality to maintain ‘A Healthier Abu Dhabi’. Through our efforts, we aim to bring locals and residents highest levels of safety and quality of healthcare services with the lowest levels of MEs, in line with key global indicators.”
Al Jaberi added: “We aim to reduce MEs as much as possible, whilst ensuring these errors are studied, reviewed and that procedures are established to prevent them from reoccurring. This will undoubtedly contribute to advancing the Emirate's healthcare system and enhancing its healthcare outcomes.”
In the case of MEs taking place in healthcare facilities in Abu Dhabi, the Standard requires healthcare providers including pharmacies to address the errors by identifying the root causes that led to them. Using this information, healthcare experts will be expected to conduct thorough analyses of the errors, thereby seeking ways to improve the medical system and prevent similar errors from taking place in the future.
The new Standard also stipulates that healthcare facilities operating in Abu Dhabi must develop long-term monitoring plans to ensure changes come into effect after MEs occur. Furthermore, the Standard requires healthcare facilities to report all MEs including near misses, errors that were prevented due to intervention by a healthcare staff or the patient.
DoH has directed healthcare facilities to provide training that ensure all their employees understand the classification of MEs, including the severity levels of harm. DoH also asks healthcare facilities to report MEs within the defined timeframe in the standard.
For more information regarding the updated procedures, please visit the following link: https://www.doh.gov.ae/resources/standards.aspx