Press Release

ISMP Launches 2011 Assessment of Medication Safety

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), in partnership with the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) and the American Hospital Association (AHA), today launched the 2011 ISMP Medication Safety Self Assessment® for hospitals. The assessment is being distributed electronically to hospitals and health systems across the country to help them review and improve their safety practices, as well as help track and encourage national progress in medication safety.

Previous ISMP Medication Safety Self Assessments were conducted in 2000 and 2004. Findings from those assessments helped in the development of targeted educational resources, such as the Pathways for Medication Safety® tools. Individual hospitals as well as health care collaborations have used the assessments to create their own initiatives, which have led to marked and sustained improvements within their organizations. The 2011 reassessment is being made possible through a grant from the Commonwealth Fund.

The 2011 ISMP Medication Safety Self Assessment® will document the progress of U.S. hospitals during the last five years of intense national attention to medication safety and identify the impact of new challenges that have arisen since 2004, such as drug and staffing shortages, shrinking reimbursement systems, and the application of new technology.

"Emerging issues in health care continue to impact medication safety, and the ISMP self- assessments are a key way to gather the information necessary to identify opportunities for change over time," says Allen J. Vaida, PharmD, FASHP, executive vice president of ISMP. "We encourage hospitals to form multidisciplinary teams to respond to the 2011 assessment, in order to provide a wide range of perspectives for the most complete data possible."

"Hospitals and health systems are committed to providing safe, high-quality health care, and medication safety is part of that commitment," said Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the AHA. "The 2011 assessment will enable the field to track national progress and also identify and enhance opportunities to improve the safety of medication use practices."

"Preventing medication errors and adverse drug events contributes to improved quality of care," said Maulik S. Joshi, DrPH, HRET president and AHA senior vice president of research.

To ensure anonymity, self-assessment reporting will be through a web-based portal on A unique, random password for submitting responses will be provided to participants, who will not be asked to identify themselves in any online data submission. Respondents will be able to compare their completely confidential results with aggregate results of similar organizations.

Many leading organizations have endorsed and supported the 2011 assessment. For more information and a list of the endorsing organizations, please visit

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit 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 include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 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

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