November 2019

Evidence-informed sources are key to safe medication practice

One part of safe medication practice is using a variety of evidence-informed sources to ensure the medication is appropriate for the patient. This is important for any medication practice, including administering, prescribing or dispensing.

What’s an evidence-informed source? Examples might include (but are not limited to):

  • best practice guidelines, including those from professional associations

  • scholarly research

  • current nursing texts

  • the patient’s broader health care team

  • CNO’s practice standards and guidelines

  • information databases, such as Health Canada’s MedEffect Canada. Health Canada monitors the safety of health products on an ongoing basis to identify and assess potential harms, and posts this info to MedEffect Canada.

Ultimately, it is up to you to determine what sources of information are most appropriate for each individual medication practice. Use your clinical judgment to assess the care needs of each individual patient, and then determine what sources of evidence are appropriate to inform your medication practice.

You should also assess the appropriateness of any medication practice by considering the patient, the medication and the environment. You must also ensure you have the knowledge, skill and judgment to perform any medication practice safely.

To learn more about safe medication practices, read the Medication practice standard. If you have questions about safe medication practice, email our Ask Practice team.

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