The SafetyNET-Rx Mission

The mission of SafetyNET-Rx is to encourage and support an open dialogue among community pharmacies, provincial pharmacy regulatory authorities, patient safety advocates, and university researchers on issues surrounding quality related events within community pharmacies.

SafetyNET-Rx provides the needed research, support, tools, process, and autonomy to enable community pharmacies to learn as a whole from quality related events and assess and improve key processes to prevent recurrence.

About SafetyNET-Rx

The profession of pharmacy is constantly evolving to meet the needs of patients and provide them with safe and effective care. The aim of patient safety is to avoid, prevent and improve adverse outcomes or injuries stemming from the processes of healthcare. Patient safety is an increasing area of concern throughout the entire Canadian healthcare system. Most of the research looking at the safety of prescribing and dispensing medication in Canada has only been studied in the hospital setting. Very few studies have examined this process in community pharmacies in Canada. While there are regulations in place, there is no national body that collects and reports this type of information, so little is known about this at this time.

Certainly, there have been some high profile cases over the years of patients who received the wrong medication or wrong dose of a medication from a pharmacy and were seriously injured or died as a result. For example, in November 2007, Dennis Quaid’s newborn twins were accidentally given a dose of a blood-thinning drug that was one thousand times the appropriate dosage for a newborn. Fortunately, the mistake was discovered and corrected early and the twins did not experience ill effects from the overdose. Last year alone, approximately 450 million prescriptions were dispensed in Canadian community pharmacies. Applying the results of a number of international studies, it is estimated that over one million quality related events (QRE)(i.e., medication errors and near misses) occur annually in our country.

SafetyNET-Rx is a community pharmacy tailored research and outreach program. SafetyNET-Rx encourages an open dialogue on medication errors among pharmacy staff so that the pharmacy can learn as a whole from QREs and make workflow / dispensing, technology, or other appropriate changes to reduce the likelihood that similar errors occur again. These activities are supported through leading-edge research and best practices, a pharmacy-tailored continuous quality improvement (CQI) cycle, in-store CQI facilitators, an integrated information system that allows for anonymous QRE reporting to a national database, and analysis of errors at the pharmacy, provincial, and national levels to determine root causes or errors and/or make proactive changes to reduce errors before they occur.

However, SafetyNET-Rx is more than a quality improvement program. It is a network of pharmacy stakeholders including pharmacists, technicians, researchers, provincial regulatory and non-profit groups aimed at improving the reporting and learning from medication errors in Canadian community pharmacies.

Welcome to the SafetyNET-Rx website!