CVS/pharmacy Recognizes National Patient Safety Awareness Week

Friday, March 3, 2006

WOONSOCKET, R.I., March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS/pharmacy announced today that it will take part in National Patient Safety Awareness Week, which takes place this year from March 5 to March 11. The company will broadcast prescription safety tips for customers through its in-store radio network during the week of the campaign.

Experts believe that when patients are active participants in asking questions and learning about their prescriptions, that effort can play an important role in promoting medication safety. Steps that customers can take include:

  1. Talk to your doctor about the brand and generic names of your prescription and how your medication works.
  2. Review the drug information sheet that comes with your prescription for details about proper use, possible side effects, activities to avoid, and what to do in case of a missed dose.
  3. Ask your pharmacist about any questions you have about the medication, including dosage.
  4. Have all your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy to enable the pharmacist to check your records for medication interactions.

"We are pleased to participate in National Patient Safety Awareness Week by emphasizing to patients and staff steps that can help ensure prescriptions are dispensed accurately," said Papatya Tankut, RPh, Vice President of Professional Pharmacy Services at CVS/pharmacy.

CVS/pharmacy has also recently entered into a multi-year relationship with the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), a nationally respected independent organization dedicated to promoting patient safety.

The company will be the first retail pharmacy to share de-identified prescription data with ISMP, which can be used to educate the pharmacy industry on factors that affect prescription safety. ISMP will also provide consulting services to CVS/pharmacy, including store visits, observations, and recommendations to ensure continual quality improvement in filling prescriptions. All CVS pharmacists will have access to ISMP newsletters on the latest industry news dealing with safety issues.

"ISMP is widely viewed as the leading expert and independent voice for patient safety and we are proud to announce our new relationship during National Patient Safety Awareness Week," said Tankut.

Patient Safety Awareness Week, a program of the National Patient Safety Foundation, is an education and awareness-building campaign for improving patient safety at the local level. Healthcare organizations across the country are encouraged to plan events to promote patient safety within their own organizations. Educational activities are centered on educating patients on how to become involved in their own health care, as well as working with organizations to build partnerships with their patient community.