P3 Research Seminar


Improving Medication Safety in an Independent Pharmacy

Document Type

Student Research Paper

Presentation Date



Medication errors are an important issue in the United States because it is the most medicated society in history. Every week, 80% of the adult population uses prescription medicines, OTC drugs, or dietary supplements. In community pharmacies, using an industry agreed upon dispensing error rate of 1.7%, this translates into more than 30 million dispensing mistakes a year. The increase in dispensing mistakes also leads to an increase in the number of injuries experienced by patients.

The Institute for Safe Medical Practices (ISMP) has made available self-assessment tools that help practitioners identify error within their own setting. The Medication Safety Self-Assessment is a tool that is available to community pharmacies, and tests on nearly 200 items related to medication safety processes. This tool aims to increase awareness of safety systems within the pharmacy, and to provide a baseline from which to improve.

A limited amount of research exists on the use of the ISMP Medication Safety Self-Assessment tool. In this study, researchers used the ISMP assessment tool in an independent community pharmacy in Southwestern Ohio to evaluate the medication safety processes and determine if specific process enhancements improve the safety profile of the pharmacy. This study looks at events that may be related to professional practice, health care products, procedures, and systems including prescribing, order communication, product labeling, packaging and nomenclature, compounding, dispensing, distribution, administration, education, monitoring, and use.


Medication errors, independent pharmacy

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.