Since the previous HIQA inspection, the hospital had strengthened governance arrangements and had implemented a number of safety initiatives to improve medication safety. The hospital’s Drugs and Therapeutics Committee oversaw the medication safety plan for 2019 and inspectors found that although not all goals had been achieved there was evidence of progress to improve medication safety.
The lack of clinical pharmacy service at the hospital remained a concern to HIQA considering the size and complexity of the services provided by the hospital. While acknowledging efforts to recruit additional pharmacy resources, the hospital should ensure that the pharmacy service is utilised most appropriately, with high risk areas prioritised, to mitigate risk and promote patient safety.
South Tipperary General Hospital had systems in place for high-risk medications. However, the hospital should ensure that the risk reduction strategies and policies in place are audited to provide assurance to hospital management that they have been effectively and consistently implemented across all clinical areas. HIQA also determined there was scope to improve the culture and ownership of medication safety incident reporting by clinical staff.
Considering the limited clinical pharmacy resources available, HIQA concluded that medication safety was evolving at South Tipperary General Hospital and progress to date demonstrated a commitment to advancing improvements with medication safety for the benefit of patients.