Inspectors found limited oversight of medication safety practices by the Cork University Hospital Group Drugs and Therapeutics Committee which was responsible for the governance and oversight of medication safety at Mallow General Hospital.
Medication incidents reporting had increased in 2018, following active promotion of incident reporting. However, the overall reporting level remained low, and as a result key medication related risks could not be recorded, analysed, mitigated or escalated effectively by the hospital.
The hospital had a list of high risk medications with associated risk reduction strategies in place. Inspectors found opportunities for improvement with the rationalisation and storage of heparin, supports for monitoring antimicrobial medication and strategies to reduce risk with sound-alike-look-alike medications.
The hospital had a very limited clinical pharmacy service and medication reconciliation was not undertaken for patients on admission or on discharge. This was of concern to HIQA and needs to be addressed. Despite the limited resources, inspectors found the pharmacy service was very accessible for advice and had a positive impact both on the promotion of medication safety and the implementation of strategies to reduce risk.
Overall there was potential to improve medication safety governance between Mallow General Hospital and Cork University Hospital Group. The hospital should continue to work in collaboration with the Cork University Hospital Group Drugs and Therapeutics Committee to improve medication safety governance and practices.