Interprofessional collaborative practice for medication safety: Nursing, pharmacy, and medical graduates’ experiences and perspectives

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Interprofessional Care, 2016, 30 (5), pp. 649 - 654
Issue Date:
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© 2016 Taylor & Francis. Medication errors are the second most prevalent cause of adverse patient incidents in Australian hospital settings. Although numerous strategies to address this patient safety issue have been implemented, the impact of interprofessional collaborative practice (IPCP) on medication safety has received limited attention. The aim of this article is to report the perspectives and experiences of recently graduated, currently practicing Australian nurses, pharmacists, and doctors in relation to IPCP and medication safety. Sixty-eight graduates from three Australian states participated in focus groups. Thematic analysis of transcripts was conducted using an iterative process. The findings from this study illustrate how knowing about and valuing the skills and responsibilities of other team members and respecting each person’s unique contribution to the work of the team can lead to more effective communication and collaboration in the context of medication safety. Although collaborative practice is critical to safe medication prescribing, dispensing, and administration, there are recurring and pervasive challenges to its achievement. This study indicated the need for improved preparation of graduates to equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to participate in an interprofessional team; and we advocate that deliberate, structured, and meaningful interprofessional clinical education initiatives are required.
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