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A component of the Canadian Medication Incident Reporting and Prevention System (CMIRPS).

SafeMedicationUse Newsletter

Power of Partnerships: Building a Strong Patient-Provider Relationship
Part 2 of a 3-Part Series



Last month, the first of a 3-part newsletter series described the value of being an informed consumer to help prevent medication errors. This newsletter, the second in the series, highlights the power of a strong patient-provider relationship. Good patient-provider relationships are built on trust and good communication. A strong partnership with your health care providers can lead to better shared decision-making about your health and the use of medications. received a report describing how the good relationship between a patient and their doctor helped prevent a medication error. The patient knew that after a visit with their doctor, a new prescription would be sent to the pharmacy by fax. At the pharmacy, the patient recognized that an old prescription was filled by mistake because the fax for the new prescription had not yet been received. This was a good catch that can help the pharmacy improve their processes.

Building relationships takes time, trust, and good communication. The following tips are shared to help you build strong partnerships with your health care providers:

  • Choose one pharmacy for your health care needs. Help the pharmacist get to know you. Have a conversation with the pharmacist about your health care needs.
  • Encourage your health care providers, including doctors, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists, to share clinical notes and medication changes with other providers in your circle of care, as needed.
  • Ask any questions you might have. Recognize that some answers require research, and doing the research may take time. The 5 Questions to Ask can help guide conversations.

Read the first newsletter in this series: Knowledge is Power: Informed Consumers Prevent Medication Errors - Part 1 of a 3-Part Series

This newsletter was developed in collaboration with Best Medicines Coalition and Patients for Patient Safety Canada.

Recommendations are shared with healthcare providers, through the ISMP Canada Safety Bulletin, so that changes can be made together.

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