Medication Safety Self-Assessment for Paramedic Organizations Instructions

Instructions for Completing the Self-Assessment

1. Establish an interdisciplinary, multilevel team similar to the following:

Core team members:

  • Patient/family representative
  • Paramedics, currently practicing in applicable roles:
    • Critical Care
    • Advanced
    • Primary
    • Community
    • Emergency Medical Attendant
  • Paramedic service leadership
  • Base Hospital Medical Director or other physician
  • Pharmacist and/or pharmacy technician, if applicable
  • Logistics personnel responsible for medication management
  • Personnel responsible for purchasing medications

Optional team members:

  • Safety/quality improvement and/or risk management professional
  • Education Instructor/ Education Specialist
  • Human factors expert
  • Administrative or project support

2. Distribute the assessment document before the team meeting so that team members can review and consider the questions in advance.

3. Discuss each assessment item and select the option that represents the team’s understanding of the level of implementation of the item.

The assessment items refer to medications prescribed, procured, dispensed, and administered to all patients in the pre-hospital or other applicable environment.

Possible responses:

  1. N Not Implemented – Select “Not Implemented” for items that are potentially implementable but not in place in this practice setting.
  2. R Rarely – Select “Rarely” for items that are implemented and in practice less than 25% of the time.
  3. S Sometimes – Select "Sometimes" for items that are implemented and in practice 25-50% of the time.
  4. O Often - Select "Often" for items that are implemented and in practice 50-75% of the time.
  5. A Always - Select "Always" for items that are implemented and in practice more than 75% of the time. For self-assessment items with multiple components, full implementation (score of A) is appropriate only if all components are present.
  6. NA Not Applicable - This option is available for selected items only, with criteria as described. Generally, this response is available for circumstances that do not exist.

The assessment items are scored as follows:
N - Not Implemented = 0
R - Rarely = 1
S - Sometimes = 2
O - Often = 3
A - Always = 4
NA - Not Applicable = 0

The team may want to consider assigning an individual to record any discussion generated around each assessment item and the rationale behind the selected choice. This information, meant for internal use only, can assist the team when reviewing scores for individual items or reassessing the paramedic organization at a later date. This information may be shared with the Base Hospital when guidance is sought on improving medication safety practices. This information may also be useful to show due diligence in improving medication safety if an incident occurs which leads to investigation or legal issues.

4. Finalize your assessment.

You will be prompted to save your responses for each section before you proceed to the next section. When all responses have been entered, you will be prompted to “Check MSSA for errors” and then to submit your results.

Once you have submitted your results you cannot edit them. The web-based survey tool will immediately download the information into a secure database maintained solely by ISMP Canada. No data is maintained on the Internet survey form after it has been submitted. Individual results can be viewed or accessed only by the paramedic organization submitting them. Confidentiality is assured.

5. Print/view your completed assessment.

Once your results have been submitted you will have access to a report summarizing your results.

6. Compare your results to the aggregate.

As soon as you submit your results, you will immediately be able to compare your results to the aggregate response. You can compare to the total aggregate or to demographically similar respondents using the filters provided.

*Note: To ensure individual organizations cannot be identified, there must be at least 3 respondents in the database to generate graphs.

View/print options include:

  • Summary of results (“report card” format)
  • Graphs comparing your paramedic organization’s results to the aggregate database for key elements and individual assessment items, including available filters based on demographic information submitted.

7. Using aggregate data

Graphed data comparing your data to the aggregate dataset can be shared within your organization. If you would like to share this data externally (e.g., through a presentation or publication) please contact ISMP Canada to ensure appropriate acknowledgment and review of data as applicable.