The complexity of healthcare systems and the fallibility of humans are responsible for a significant number of medication errors and other preventable patient harms. A major barrier to improving patient safety is the underlying safety culture of an organisation. Although attempts have been made to improve safety culture within medicine and nursing, efforts in pharmacy have been limited despite pharmacists being ideally placed to improve patient and medication safety. Generational change is considered an important element in creating positive change to safety culture, with education regarded as a key driver to change. However, institutions often report capacity and capability issues in delivering patient safety education. This session will summarise findings of an evaluation of patient safety climate in the hospital pharmacy setting and educational interventions to improve patient safety attitudes in early career pharmacists.
About Dr Ramesh Walpola
Dr Ramesh Walpola is a practicing community pharmacist and Lecturer in Pharmacy at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Griffith University. His main area of research expertise and interest is in patient safety, particularly examining the social determinants of safe practices. Ramesh completed his PhD at The University of Sydney in 2016, which focused on the development of educational interventions to enhance generational change in patient safety practices in the pharmacy setting. He was awarded the FIP Young Pharmacist Award for Professional Innovation in 2012 in recognition of the novelty of this work. Following his PhD, he worked in a number of clinical research roles, including a multi-centre deprescribing randomized controlled trial, development of inter-professional student-led clinics and a review of the junior undergraduate pharmacy practice curriculum at The University of Sydney. Ramesh’s current research focuses on improving patient safety in primary care and professionalism.