How does it work?

CMIRPS uses a collaborative approach to collect and analyze medication incident reports and to share information and expertise. Through the generation of knowledge designed to reduce the occurrence of harmful medication incidents, this model is working towards a safer medication use system in Canada.

What is a medication incident?

A medication incident is any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the healthcare professional, patient, or consumer. Medication incidents may be related to professional practice, drug products, procedures, and systems, and include prescribing, order communication, product labelling/ packaging/ nomenclature, compounding, dispensing, distribution, administration, education, monitoring, and use.

In simpler terms, a medication incident is a mistake with medicine, or a problem that could cause a mistake with medicine.

How CMIRPS prevents and responds to medication incidents across Canada:

  1. Medication incident takes place (includes: harmful events, no-harm events, near misses and underlying conditions that could lead to harmful incidents)
  2. The incident is reported through a CMIRPS channel by: healthcare organizations, individual practitioners, consumers
  3. Expert review, analysis & trend identification is conducted
  4. Action & recommendations are made via safety bulletins, alerts, stakeholder communication
  5. Facilitation of change: measures to prevent reoccurrence are put in place

Each of the CMIRPS collaborating organizations contributes information, tools and/or expertise in the prevention of harmful medication incidents:

  • Health Canada provides funding for the CMIRPS program. As well, Health Canada contributes knowledge and expertise to CMIRPS in the area of medication safety from its perspective as the federal regulator of health products. Health Canada will use information gathered through CMIRPS as part of its ongoing activities to monitor and improve the safety of medications and other health products sold in Canada.
  • The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) contribution to CMIRPS is the National System for Incident Reporting (NSIR), which collects medication incident data from Canadian healthcare facilities. The NSIR system includes analytical and communication tools to support the analysis and sharing of medication incidents and preventative strategies. CIHI produces analytic reports from NSIR data to support enhancements to the medication use system.
  • The Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada (ISMP Canada) offers a medication incident reporting mechanism for individual healthcare practitioners, community pharmacies, and a consumer reporting and learning website: ISMP Canada is also responsible for conducting analysis and follow-up of incident reports, providing support for the development and implementation of preventive measures, developing and disseminating information bulletins and alerts.
  • Patients for Patient Safety Canada (PFPSC) is a patient led group comprised of patients or caregivers who have experienced preventable harm from the healthcare system. Volunteers collaborate with stakeholders in health care to lend this unique perspective to help improve patient safety. PFPSC partners with Healthcare Excellence Canada – Safety Strategies and Programs and has connections to the World Health Organization Global Patients for Patient Safety network.
  • Healthcare Excellence Canada (HEC) works with partners to spread innovation, build capability and catalyze policy change so that everyone in Canada has safe and high-quality healthcare. Through collaboration with patients, caregivers and people working in healthcare, we turn proven innovations into lasting improvements in all dimensions of healthcare excellence. Launched in 2021, HEC brings together the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement.