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

SafeMedicationUse Newsletter

Keep Me in the Loop: Preventing Medication Errors with Virtual Appointments


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Have you had a virtual care appointment with your doctor or nurse practitioner? A recent study showed that more Canadians are receiving care virtually, by phone or by video. has learned from Canadians that medication errors can happen during and after virtual care appointments. They feel there are opportunities to continue to improve communications among prescribers, pharmacists, and patients to prevent errors.

ISMP Canada and Healthcare Excellence Canada have engaged with Canadian patients, pharmacists, and prescribers to learn about medication safety related to virtual care appointments. Canadians have expressed concern about getting needed medications in a timely manner. Similar stories have also been shared through ISMP Canada’s consumer reporting platform has the following tips to keep you in the communication loop during and after a virtual appointment with your doctor or nurse practitioner:

  • Ask questions if you are unsure about any changes with your medications.
  • Give your prescriber both the name and phone number of the pharmacy. This helps to make sure the prescription is sent to the right pharmacy. Ask when the prescription will be sent.
  • Ask your prescriber to send you a record of medication changes (and copies of prescriptions sent to the pharmacy) right after your virtual appointment. When picking up your prescription, use this information to check that you have received the right medication(s).
  • Ask your pharmacist if the pharmacy has a service that contacts patients when a prescription is ready for pick up.

For information about how to prepare for a virtual care appointment, read this newsletter and/or visit this website.

Medication safety bulletins contribute to Global Patient Safety Alerts

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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