AIMS, Winter 2018

Moving Ontario’s Medication Safety Program Forward

cqa moving forward
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In June 2017, Council approved a mandatory medication safety incident reporting program for all of Ontario’s pharmacies. The program supports ongoing continuous quality improvement and puts in place a mandatory consistent standard for all pharmacies in the province, ultimately helping to prevent incidents from reoccurring and enhancing patient safety. In addition, data collected through the program will enable the identification of trends and the development of resources to support safety improvements in pharmacies. Following the announcement that Pharmapod Ltd. had been selected to create and manage the program reporting system, the College has been working closely with them to develop training and begin implementation for the first phase participants.

While Pharmapod will be responsible for providing training and tools for Ontario pharmacies, analyzing provincial medication incident data and providing reports to individual pharmacies, the College oversees the program. The College will receive aggregate data in order to support activities, tools and resources to address gaps that may be identified.

Training for the 102 first-phase participants took place in January. These pharmacies and their staff from across Ontario will ultimately play a critical role in the province-wide implementation and success of this program by testing the reporting system. As program ambassadors, they will provide ongoing feedback throughout 2018 to inform any required changes to the program, thus facilitating full adoption and success when it is implemented in all 4,200+ community pharmacies in Ontario.

While the focus is currently on this first phase, full implementation of the medication safety reporting program is expected to commence by the end of 2018. Pharmapod will be reaching out to all pharmacies in Ontario later in 2018 to provide training and support leading up to the province-wide implementation.


During the pharmacy accreditation process this year, the Director Liaison of each pharmacy will be required to review and sign a license agreement with the College and program partner Pharmapod. The agreement signals consent to provide certain data to the Pharmapod platform, once implemented at individual pharmacies, in order to facilitate the operation of the program. In advance of the accreditation process, Director Liaisons will be provided with the opportunity to review the data license agreement. Please look for future communication from the College regarding the agreement.

The program, which will be mandatory for all accredited community pharmacies, is paid for by the College. The cost for the program, just as all other programs administered by the College as part of our regulatory responsibilities and public-protection mandate, are recovered through fees paid by registrants and accredited pharmacies. The program is scheduled to be rolled out to all pharmacies in 2019. As always, when preparing the budget for the fiscal year 2019, the College will assess fee levels necessary to cover expenses and maintain our regulatory programs and appropriate reserves. Given the cost of the program, we anticipate that this will have an impact on fees for 2019, subject to Council approval in September 2018. Any impact on fees will be communicated promptly.

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