The Need for a Meaningful Conceptual Frame

Getting the Foundations Right for the Measurement of Medication Safety: the Need for a Meaningful Conceptual Frame

Ng, Jerome; Scahill, S; Harrison, J (2017)

NZ Medical  Journal 2017; 130(1452):54-62

A number of initiatives aimed at improving medication safety in and across New Zealand public hospitals have been introduced over recent years. Clinicians, policymakers and patients now want to know whether patients are safer today from medicine use than they have been in the past.

The challenge has been determining exactly what should be measured. In this viewpoint, we critically examine the suitability of adverse drug events (ADE) as a primary metric for assessing the progress of medication safety improvement. We provide an overview of contemporary dialogue on medication safety measurement and highlight the emergent challenges.

Finally, we reflect on how New Zealand has approached medication safety measurement so far and argue the need for a multi-stakeholder informed conceptual framework with a view to further enhancing meaningful assessment of medication safety.