New Brunswick

New Brunswick pharmacists will now report errors to national body

New Brunswick pharmacists will now have their mistakes sent to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, which will take that data and try to figure out how to reduce errors.

Data will be sent anonymously and used to try and prevent future mistakes

The New Brunswick College of Pharmacists has decided to make it mandatory for pharmacists to report errors to a national medical body.

New Brunswick pharmacists will now have their mistakes sent to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, which will take that data and try to figure out how to reduce errors. 

The New Brunswick College of Pharmacists made the decision on Saturday. 

"We value the data that's being collected and think that there are gains to be made if we pool the data and increase the number of reports that are going to a central database," said Sam Lanctin, registrar with the New Brunswick College of Pharmacists.

The mandatory reports will not be made public, according to Lanctin. But he said he expects aggregate data reports to be released. That information will be anonymous.  

"It's not meant to try to trace back to a particular pharmacy or anything like that," said Lanctin. 

"It's really meant to pool the data and learn from those mistakes that are happening across the country."

National trend

The decision is part of a growing trend across the country to take a closer look at these mistakes. 

"There's been some greater awareness building. I know there were some incidents that occurred in Ontario," said Lanctin. 

"Certainly as regulators it's something we have been looking at more closely."

Earlier this year, a Moncton pharmacist was fined for a drug-dispensing mistake that led to a patient's death. And in 2016, the death of an eight-year-old in Ontario was found to be caused by a pharmacist's mistake. 

The boy's mother, Melissa Sheldrick, tweeted out she was pleased New Brunswick would be tracking those mistakes.

There has been a similar program in New Brunswick since 2016. Errors were all reported internally to the New Brunswick College of Pharmacists, but that's where the information stayed.

The new program isn't in effect yet. Lanctin said he expects it will start early in 2019, which will give the organization time to implement the program and have pharmacies make it a regular practice.

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