We are happy to announce that we’ve launched two new standards – the Medication Management Standard (CAN/HSO 3001:2019) and the Medication Management for Community-Based Organizations Standard (CAN/HSO 34014:2019).

These are National Standards of Canada that will be applied around the world.

Both standards will help various organizations, from hospitals to long-term care centers, provide safe medication and treatment for patients and family members.

These standards support everyone working together to prevent and reduce mistakes or issues that can arise related to medication management.

The Medication Management Standard addresses all aspects of the medication management process, from prescription, selection, preparation, and handing out medication, to taking the medication and keeping a check on patients.

The Medication Management for Community-Based Organizations Standard has the same goals, but provides guidelines for community-based organizations such as long-term care centres, clinics and home care.

What do these new standards mean for patients and families?

Both standards aim to ensure that patients receive safe treatment, learn about how to properly take their medications, how to identify possible medication side effects and issues if medication is taken with other medications or herbal supplements, and more.

The new standards were developed through HSO’s rigorous standards development process, which includes input from a Technical Committee of patients, family members, clinicians, health service administrators, government and health service stakeholders, and researchers.

These experts worked together to put forward evidence-based standards that put safety, quality of care, and best practice at the center of medication management.

Both standards also underwent a two-month public review process, where members of the medical community and the general public were invited to provide feedback.

In a previous interview, Paul Filiatrault, Co-Chair of HSO’s Medication Management Technical Committee said these new standards will support health organizations in their quality improvement journey and decrease the likelihood of medication errors.

“The revised standards will guide organizations to plan for medication system enhancements that will reduce the risk for errors that should never happen,” he said.

“These standards are critical to helping health organizations prioritize decisions about medication system safety.”

Filiatrault is a pharmacist with more than 35 years of clinical and administrative experience in hospital settings.

“Some of the standards have been streamlined to improve clarity and additional standards have been included to support organizations in their mission to resolve national health dilemmas, including the polypharmacy pandemic and the opioid crisis,” he adds.

Dr. Andrew Morris, a fellow Technical Committee member, says these new standards are important because patients and families deserve predictable care that is based on state-of-the-art approaches to safe medication management.

“These standards don’t only represent the best available medication practices, but a commitment to delivering them,” Dr. Morris said. “These standards mean that patients and families can believe that organizations that implement these medication standards are committed to providing safe, reliable, and predictable care.”

Dr. Morris is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and the Director of the Sinai Health System-University Health Network Antimicrobial Stewardship. Learn more about him here.