Home and Community Care Personal Support Worker Organizations Medication Safety Self-Assessment Frequently Asked Questions

Do we need an interdisciplinary team to complete the checklist?
Because medication use is a complex, interdisciplinary process, the value and accuracy of the checklist is substantially enhanced if it is completed by a broadly representative team rather than an individual clinician or discipline. The organization's Client Safety Committee may be the appropriate team to complete the assessment.
Do we need leadership staff on our team?
An individual from the organizational leadership team is useful but not vital at these meetings. Participation in the assessment process provides leadership staff with insight into areas of vulnerability related to the medication safety system. Once results are available, engaging the leadership team to validate areas of strength and identify opportunities for improvement is necessary to help the organization go forward and plan for increased safety strategies in the medication management system.
How are individual items scored?
Each item has a specific weighting. If the characteristic is fully implemented, then the maximum score is achieved. The scoring is as follows:
  • A = 0
  • B = 1
  • C = 2
  • D = 2
  • E = 4
  • N/A = 4 (i.e., no risk to organization/population served)
May I make copies of the checklist document?
You may make as many copies of this document as are required for the team to complete the assessment. You may not modify or alter the content in any way. Furthermore, you may not modify, transmit, post, or use the contents of this document for personal, public, or commercial purposes unless you have obtained written permission from ISMP Canada.
My organization has a number of sites. Do I need a password for each one?
If your organization is homogeneous or is managed as a single entity, then it may be appropriate to conduct a single assessment for the entire organization. However, if your sites are relatively autonomous and have different procedures, then separate assessments are recommended.
Are there situations where this assessment may not be appropriate for an organization?
This assessment is designed for organizations that are responsible for co-ordinating and delivering personal support worker services in home and community care.
How can we use our checklist results?
This checklist is intended to:
  • heighten awareness of the distinguishing characteristics of a safe medication system in home and community care settings;
  • act as a quality improvement tool; and to
  • create a baseline evaluation of efforts by the organization to enhance the safety of medication use and monitor these efforts over time, both individually and at the aggregate level.
Your organization's assessment results can be used to identify gaps in practice and to help implement strategies and practices that will enhance medication safety practices. Repeating this assessment every 1 – 2 years will assist you and your team to track your progress over time.

If you have questions: Refer to the FAQs and Key Definitions - these are directly linked in the online form and identified via an FAQ icon or use of SMALL CAPITAL FONT for the Key Definitions.

For additional questions or experiencing technical difficulties with the online assessment portal, contact ISMP Canada at mssa@ismp-canada.org or call 416-733-3131 [Toll free 1-866-544-7672] from 9 am - 5 pm Eastern Time.