Demystifying Medication Incident Reporting


  • ISMP Canada



To fulfill its commitment to patient safety, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada (ISMP Canada) receives information about preventable adverse drug events from individual health care practitioners and health service organizations. Reporters send the information voluntarily and ISMP Canada uses its analysis of the medication incident reports to develop recommendations for enhancing patient safety. In 2005, ISMP Canada was part of a research team1 that obtained funding from the Canadian Patient Safety Institute to conduct a scan of legislation from across Canada that might apply to the reporting (or, in the term used by most statutes, “disclosures”) of medication incident data to external organizations, such as ISMP Canada. We used the term “sharing” to refer to external incident reporting that is voluntary. Although the same statutory rules might apply to all kinds of incident reporting, we focused on types of information that are specific to medication incidents. Reporters and reporting organizations in various provinces often ask questions about the landscape of privacy legislation across Canada and about the limits that such legislation might place on the sharing of medication incident data. As it happens, some of the key messages that came out of our legislative scan may be helpful to reporters with questions about privacy, confidentiality and the sharing of incident data.


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Safe Medication Practices / Pratiques d'utilisation sécuritaire des médicaments