Complex Made Simple

QU College of Pharmacy, HMC hold first symposium on medication safety

Qatar University College of Pharmacy (QU-CPH) and Al Wakra Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) held the first symposium on medication safety last Saturday at Sharq Hotel & Spa under the theme ‘It’s everyone’s concern’.

The aim of the event was to engage the spirit of inter-professional collaborative care and to involve input from pharmacists, physicians, nurses and administrators to cover the full spectrum of patient care.

The one-day event was held in partnership with the International Society of Pharmacoepidemiology (ISPE) GCC Chapter and brought together over 150 clinically-oriented pharmacists, health care providers, researchers, academia and students from health-related disciplines. Guest speakers from CPH, HMC and King Saud University covered topics including medication safety policy, adverse event reporting, assessing medication quality, and the role of a pharmacist in research. Research, practice and direct patient care at Al Wakra hospital was also discussed.

CPH dean Dr Ayman El-Kadi said: “This symposium showcases the importance of medication safety and the role of the pharmacist in this regard. Discussions and recommendations emanating from it will serve to raise the standard of practice in Qatar as the country moves towards fulfilling the National Health Strategy 2011-2016 with a skilled national workforce, effective services and a comprehensive world-class healthcare system.”

Al Wakra Hospital pharmacy director Dr Rasha Al Anany stated: “This symposium is a great opportunity for senior healthcare providers, researchers, and aspiring pharmacists in Qatar to come together and engage in discussions on medication safety to stimulate enhanced health outcomes. The conference consolidates HMC’s commitment to providing the safest, most effective and most compassionate care to each and every one of our patients as delegates will have the chance to identify the best medication safety strategies and learn innovative ways of ensuring the safe use of medication.”

Medication safety is a key area of research currently being conducted by CPH. A 2-year project by CPH faculty Dr Kerry Wilbur and Dr Ahmed Awaisu is exploring medication errors at HMC practice sites in an NPRP-funded study in collaboration with HMC and Robert Gordon University UK, with the aim to improving prescription safety and attendant systems.

Additionally, Dr Awaisu and CPH professor of social and administrative pharmacy Dr Mohamed Ibrahim are collaborating with HMC Pharmacy Department research team as part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2013 between QU and HMC aimed at finding solutions to pressing healthcare issues in Qatar. “We want to understand how the current system on adverse drug reaction (ADR) reporting operates, the beliefs and behaviors of health professionals on prescribing and dispensing medication, and the key barriers of reporting and documenting ADR,” said Dr Moza Sulaiman Al-Hail, HMC Executive Director of Pharmacy.

An important study conducted last year by CPH faculty Dr Nadir Kheir, Dr Awaisu and several external collaborators addressed medication safety from the perspective of Qatar’s migrant workers of low-level English and Arabic skills. The study entitled “Development and evaluation of pictograms on medication labels for patients with limited literacy skills in a culturally-diverse multiethnic population” which was funded by Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) under its Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP), deployed the use of pictograms to match labeling instructions on medicines, and was found to be of considerable benefit to migrant workers with low literacy skills in understanding the instructions and taking the correct dosage prescribed by their doctors.