Medication safety: inter-professional teaching and learning using simulation


The Initative Team

Initiative Lead
University College Cork

Primary Contact
Dr Elaine Walsh

Initiative Budget


Initiative Type


This T&L initiative identifies that there is an urgent need to develop an alternative approach to the teaching of medication safety, one that recognises the need for integration between disciplines.
Medication error is the most preventable cause of patient harm. Over 20% of patients in Cork hospitals experience medication error. Poor communication between doctors, pharmacists and nurses is a major issue. Currently, the teaching of the safe use of medication within our curriculum is discipline-specific with deficits recently being identified by local graduates.
Aim and objectives:
To develop and evaluate a novel inter-professional session around medication safety using high fidelity simulation to enable medical, nursing and pharmacy students to:
• learn with, from and about each other
• achieve competence in a high-risk clinical task in a low risk teaching environment
Students will generate and dispense prescriptions in simulated ward and pharmacy environments. Performance will be observed, marked using a checklist and discussed with students. Data will be collected on errors. Students will reflect individually and as a group and written feedback obtained. Quantitative data will be analysed using IBM SPSS and NVivo software used to facilitate thematic analysis of qualitative data.
Expected outcomes:
It is anticipated that issues will arise in terms of (i) errors on the prescriptions and (ii) communication between students. It is expected that triangulated approach employed (identification by faculty, self-reflection and group discussion) will result in an in-depth understanding of medication error in terms of multidisciplinary causes and consequences.

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