ASHP 08: Novant receives ASHP's medication safety award

December 8, 2008

Novant Health, a not-for-profit healthcare system based in Winston Salem, NC, received the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists' 2008 Award for Excellence in Medication-Use Safety for an innovative program that significantly reduced adverse drug events and hospital admissions.

Novant Health, a not-for-profit healthcare system based in Winston Salem, NC, received the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists' 2008 Award for Excellence in Medication-Use Safety for an innovative program that significantly reduced adverse drug events and hospital admissions.

As part of the award sponsored by Cardinal Health Foundation, Novant received $50,000 to further promote medication-use safety. Finalists Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago) and the Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital at The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH) received $10,000 each.

"In administering this awards program, the ASHP Foundation seeks to share the success stories of the winner and the finalist organizations so practitioners across the country can benefit and learn from their experiences," said Stephen J. Allen, ASHP Foundation executive vice-president. "The primary goal of this program is to provide opportunities for others to improve the quality and safety of medication management."

Novant was recognized for its patient outreach program called "Safe Med," designed to prevent adverse drug events in outpatients 65 and older. The program included pharmacists contacting patients within a week of discharge, educating patients about medication adherence, and providing both the patient and the primary care provider with a reconciled list of medications.

In its first year, Safe Med reduced hospital admissions resulting from adverse drug events from 17.9 percent to 4 percent. Safe Med patients also experienced a 29 percent reduction in hospital admissions.

"The Safe Med program represents Novant Health's mission of improving the health of our communities, one person at a time," said Nan Holland, RN, BSN, MPH, director of clinical and quality services for Novant Medical Group. "The program serves to not only reconcile the medication list but to empower patients and families to understand more about and become a partner in their health care. We are truly working to enhance the movement of patients across the continuum of care and to enhance the continuity of care."