Healthcare experts from across Qatar convened for an interprofessional training event at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) that discussed strategies to optimise the safety of medication for patients in the primary care and outpatient settings in Qatar.

The Optimization of Medication Safety in the Primary Care & Outpatient Settings event was coordinated by the  Division of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) at WCM-Q and featured expert speakers from the academia, the public health sector and the private sector.

During the virtual event, the speakers outlined the risk factors for adverse drug events and medication errors, discussed why and how medication safety incidences occur in the prescribing, dispensing and administration processes in primary care settings, and outlined strategies to reduce medication safety incidences at interfaces of care, specifically during admission, transfer and discharge of patients. The speakers also identified and discussed specific and significant medication safety issues that arose in Qatar during the COVID-19 pandemic and outlined strategies to minimize medication safety incidences arising from the pandemic.

The course directors of the event were CPD Assistant Director Dr Phyllis Muffuh Navti, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) Director of Pharmacy and Head of Medication Safety/Quality Dr Anas Hamad, and Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) Director of Pharmacy Dr Manal Al-Zaidan. All three were also expert speakers of the event.

According to Dr Navti, medication safety is of paramount importance for patient safety and optimum healthcare outcomes. As such, he said that pharmacists and other healthcare professionals must continually review procedures to ensure medications are prescribed, dispensed and managed correctly.

This training event provided a great opportunity to discuss strategies to optimise medication safety, which is especially timely given that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many healthcare institutions to alter the way they prescribe and dispense medicines and also reduced opportunities to counsel patients on safe medication use.

Other expert speakers who joined the discussion included Dr Mai Mahmoud (WCM-Q), Ebtesam Abdulla (PHCC) and Vyas S Kattezhathu of Wellcare Pharmacy.

The event was accredited locally by the Ministry of Public Health Department of Healthcare Professions – Accreditation Section and by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).

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