Improving Patient Safety in Community Pharmacies: A Resource List

General Resources
This document contains references to Web sites that provide practical resources community pharmacies can use to implement changes to improve patient safety culture and patient safety.
  1. 30 Safe Practices for Better Health Care Fact Sheet 30-safe-practices-better-health-care-fact-sheet

    This fact sheet is featured on AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange Web site. The National Quality Forum has identified 30 safe practices that evidence shows can work to reduce or prevent adverse events and medication errors. These practices can be universally adopted by all health care settings to reduce the risk of harm to patients. This tool also provides background information about the National Quality Forum, as well as links to a report providing more detailed information about the 30 safe practices.

  2. AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange

    AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange is a comprehensive program designed to accelerate the development and adoption of innovations in health care delivery. This program supports the Agency's mission to improve the safety, effectiveness, patient centeredness, timeliness, efficiency, and equity of care. It emphasizes reducing disparities in health care and health among racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. The Innovations Exchange has the following components:

    • Searchable innovations and attempts.
    • Searchable QualityTools.
    • Events and podcasts.
    • Videos.
    • Learning and networking opportunities.
    • Articles and guides.
  3. AHRQ Patient Safety Organization

    The AHRQ Patient Safety Organization (PSO) Web site is designed to give you an understanding of the:

    • Purpose and goals of PSOs.
    • Protections offered by PSOs.
    • Process for becoming a PSO.
    • Information on listed PSOs.
    • Common Formats for reporting patient safety events.
  4. AHRQ Medical Errors and Patient Safety


    The AHRQ Medical Errors and Patient Safety Web site provides links to various fact sheets including information on how to improve health care quality, and  reduce and prevent adverse drug events. It also contains patient safety research highlights, and other related topics. 

  5. AHRQ Patient Safety Network

    AHRQ Patient Safety Network (PSNet) is a national Web-based resource featuring the latest news and essential resources on patient safety. The site offers weekly updates of patient safety literature, news, tools, and meetings ("What's New") and a vast set of carefully annotated links to important research and other information on patient safety ("The Collection"). Supported by a robust patient safety taxonomy and Web architecture, PSNet provides searching and browsing capability and allows users to customize the site around their interests (My PSNet). It also is tightly coupled with AHRQ's WebM&M, the popular monthly journal that features user-submitted cases of medical errors, expert commentaries, and perspectives on patient safety.

  6. Automated Telephone Reminders: A Tool to Help Refill Medicines on Time

    This easy-to-understand telephone script is provided for use by pharmacies that want to provide automated refill reminder calls to patients.

  7. CAHPS® Ambulatory Care Improvement Guide

    The CAHPS Ambulatory Care Improvement Guide is a comprehensive resource for health plans, medical groups, and other providers seeking to improve their performance in the domains of patient experience measured by CAHPS surveys of ambulatory care.

  8. Chasing Zero: Winning the War on Health Care Harm

    A near-fatal medical error almost cost the lives of twins born to actor Dennis Quaid and his wife. This real-life event inspires a new patient education documentary featuring the Quaid family's personal ordeal, along with stories of other families who faced medical errors. It also features experts who are leading efforts to help health care providers reduce medical errors and improve patient safety outcomes.

  9. The Commonwealth Fund

    The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that aims to promote a high-performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency. The organization focuses on society's most vulnerable populations, including low-income people, uninsured people, minority groups, young children, and older adults. The Commonwealth Fund provides information on a variety of health care topics, as well as free publications and innovations and tools for improving health care.

  10. Consumers Advancing Patient Safety

    Consumers Advancing Patient Safety is a consumer-led nonprofit organization aimed at providing a collective voice for individuals, families, and healers who want to prevent harm in health care encounters through partnership and collaboration.

  11. is designed to help consumers avoid mistakes when taking medicines. Most of the material on the Web site is written by staff from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices and includes medication safety articles, tools and resources, latest Food and Drug Administration medication alerts, and a form to report a medication error. 

  12. Department of Defense Patient Safety Program

    The Department of Defense Patient Safety Program is a comprehensive program designed to establish a culture of patient safety and quality within the Military Health System (MHS). The program encourages a systems approach to create a safer patient environment; engages MHS leadership; promotes collaboration across all three services; and fosters trust, transparency, teamwork, and communication.

  13. Institute for Healthcare Improvement

    The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is a reliable source of energy, knowledge, and support for an ongoing campaign to improve health care worldwide. IHI helps accelerate change in health care by cultivating promising concepts for improving patient care and turning those ideas into action.

  14. Institute for Safe Medication Practices

    The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) is a nonprofit organization educating the health care community and consumers about safe medication practices. It is certified by AHRQ as a Patient Safety Organization. ISMP features newsletters, webinars, tools, and educational materials and allows health care practitioners and consumers to report errors through two national error-reporting programs: the National Medication Errors Reporting Program and the National Vaccine Errors Reporting Program.

  15. The Joint Commission: Patient Safety

    The Patient Safety pages on The Joint Commission Web site offer information on patient safety-related standards, the National Patient Safety Goals, the Speak Up™ initiatives (a national program urging patients to become active participants on their health care team), and other resources.

  16. National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) PMP InterConnect®

    NABP PMP InterConnect® is a data exchange platform that links prescription monitoring programs operated by various States, allowing authorized users, including health care practitioners and pharmacists, access to patient-specific controlled substance prescription information from across State lines. After signing a memorandum of understanding with the association, State-run prescription monitoring programs implement an interface with NABP InterConnect. Authorized users log into their State’s prescription monitoring program, enter a patient’s name, and receive a single report summarizing that patient’s drug-seeking activities in all participating States. They then use this information to assist in identifying patients who appear to be crossing State lines to obtain drugs for potential personal misuse or drug diversion (the transfer of drugs from lawful to illegal purposes). The program has enhanced access to interstate prescription monitoring program data for authorized users in 15 States who have collectively accessed the system more than 2 million times since its implementation.

  17. National Center for Patient Safety

    The National Center for Patient Safety was established in 1999 to develop and nurture a culture of safety throughout the Veterans Health Administration. The primary intended audience for the public Web site is health care professionals and health care administrators.

  18. National Patient Safety Foundation®

    The National Patient Safety Foundation® (NPSF) has been pursuing one mission since its founding in 1997—to improve the safety of the health care system for the patients and families it serves. NPSF is dedicated to uniting disciplines and organizations across the continuum of care, championing a collaborative, inclusive, multistakeholder approach.

  19. National Quality Forum

    The National Quality Forum is a nonprofit organization that aims to improve the quality of health care for all Americans through fulfillment of its three-part mission:

    • Setting national priorities and goals for performance improvement.
    • Endorsing national consensus standards for measuring and publicly reporting on performance.
    • Promoting the attainment of national goals through education and outreach programs.
  20. Patient Safety Primer: Medication Errors

    A growing evidence base supports specific strategies to prevent adverse drug events (ADEs). The AHRQ Patient Safety Network outlines strategies providers can use at each stage of the medication use pathway—prescribing, transcribing, dispensing, administration—to prevent ADEs. These strategies range from computerized provider order entry and clinical decision support to minimizing nurse disruption and providing better patient education and medication labeling. The primer also identifies known risk factors for ADEs, including health literacy, patient characteristics, high-alert medications, and transitions in care.

  21. Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority

    The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority is charged with taking steps to reduce and eliminate medical errors by identifying problems and recommending solutions that promote patient safety in various health care settings. The Web site features current patient safety articles and highlights patient safety initiatives and tools. Users can browse by care setting, event (e.g., medication errors, adverse drug reaction), discipline, audience, and patient safety focus.

  22. A Toolset for E-Prescribing Implementation in Independent Pharmacies

    This toolset is designed to assist pharmacies in adopting e-prescribing. It consists of seven chapters that provide guidance on various implementation topics and tools that can facilitate the implementation process.

  23. World Health Organization Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products

    The World Health Organization Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products provides information on the following areas of work related to medicine: policy, governance and country collaboration; quality assurance and safety; medicine access and rational use; medical devices and diagnostics; quality, safety, and standards for vaccines. The Web site features publications and training resources. 

  24. WhyNotTheBest? is a health care quality improvement resource from the Commonwealth Fund. In this resource, health care organizations share successful strategies and tools to create safe, reliable health care processes and deliver high-quality care to patients. Case studies and tools are linked to performance measures for particular conditions or areas of care.

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Page last reviewed April 2014
Page originally created February 2014
Internet Citation: Improving Patient Safety in Community Pharmacies: A Resource List. Content last reviewed April 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.