Circulation 37,100 • Volume 19, No. 2 • Summer 2004   Issue PDF

ISMP Launches Medication Safety Self Assessment

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), in partnership with the Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET), and the American Hospital Association (AHA), has launched the 2004 ISMP Medication Safety Self Assessment® for hospitals. The assessment is being distributed to hospitals across the country. ISMP estimates that the preliminary aggregate national data will be released in late 2004.

Conducted for the first time in 2000, the assessment allowed US hospitals to gauge their use of nearly 200 characteristics and practices that most significantly influence safe medication use and identify challenges and opportunities for change over time. In August 2003 ISMP received a grant from The Commonwealth Fund to fund the 2004 ISMP Medication Safety Self Assessment®. The 2004 assessment will help participating hospitals measure their progress in medication safety since the last survey and allow all hospitals to compare their current systems and practices to other demographically similar hospitals nationwide.

The 2004 ISMP Medication Safety Self Assessment® will also assist in the development of educational tools and training materials to further enhance safe medication administration. “Hospitals and health systems share a fundamental commitment to providing every patient with safe, high-quality care. To meet that commitment we are continually examining the way care is delivered and looking for ways to improve,” said Dick Davidson, president, AHA. “The 2004 Assessment will enable the field to identify where we’ve made progress in the past 4 years, as well as opportunities for improvement.”

Michael Cohen, president, ISMP, said, “Much has happened in the area of patient safety since 2000, and we feel the 2004 assessment results will uncover the progress US hospitals have made over the last 3 years and help determine whether the current challenges in health care have affected medication safety systems.”

“In an effort to regain the public’s trust and to continue the journey of building a safer health care system, honest assessments of medication safety, such as this one, are needed to identify processes and organizational infrastructures that place patients at risk,” said Mary Pittman, president, HRET.

Hospitals are being asked to convene multidisciplinary teams to respond to the survey and provide a wide range of perspectives for the most complete data set possible. The experience of completing the assessment will enrich a variety of health care providers’ efforts to improve the safety of medication use practices. Hospitals should also be aware that the surveys are completely confidential and the identities of participating organizations will not be revealed, only aggregate data.

Many leading organizations have endorsed and supported the 2004 Assessment. For more information and for a list of the endorsing organizations, please visit

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP)

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization that works closely with health care practitioners and institutions, regulatory agencies, consumers, and professional organizations to provide education about medication errors and their prevention. ISMP represents nearly 30 years of experience in helping health care practitioners keep patients safe, and continues to lead efforts to improve the medication use process. In 2004, the Institute is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its official incorporation as a nonprofit organization. For more information on ISMP, visit

Health Research and Educational Trust

Founded in 1944, the Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET) is a private, not-for-profit organization involved in research, education, and demonstration programs addressing health management and policy issues. HRET, an American Hospital Association affiliate, collaborates with health care, government, academic, business and community organizations across the United States to conduct research and disseminate findings that shape the future of health care. Visit HRET’s website at

American Hospital Association

The American Hospital Association (AHA) is a nonprofit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which includes almost 5,000 hospitals, health systems, networks and other providers of care and 37,000 individual members.

Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA Website at


ISMP Contact: Renee Brehio, (704) 321-3343, [email protected].

HRET Contact: Jenna Rabideaux, (312) 422-2640, [email protected].

AHA Contact: Jennifer Armstrong Gay (202) 626-2342, [email protected].