gms | German Medical Science

G-I-N Conference 2012

Guidelines International Network

22.08 - 25.08.2012, Berlin

Dutch guidelines for medication safety

Meeting Abstract

  • W.M. Meijer - Royal Dutch Pharmacists Association (KNMP), The Hague, Netherlands
  • M. Heringa - SIR Institute of pharmacy practice and policy, Leiden, Netherlands
  • H. Buurma - SIR Institute of pharmacy practice and policy, Leiden, Netherlands
  • N.A. ten Cate - Royal Dutch Pharmacists Association (KNMP), The Hague, Netherlands
  • B.J.G. Daemen - Royal Dutch Pharmacists Association (KNMP), The Hague, Netherlands

Guidelines International Network. G-I-N Conference 2012. Berlin, 22.-25.08.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. DocP107

doi: 10.3205/12gin219, urn:nbn:de:0183-12gin2196

Published: July 10, 2012

© 2012 Meijer et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: The central task of pharmacists is to guard medication safety, i.e. optimizing the benefits and minimizing the risks. Research on medication safety issues is expanding. There is a growing recognition of the pharmacist as an independent healthcare provider. In 2012 a new reimbursement system for pharmacies came into effect, which is based on patient oriented services, rather than on the distribution of medicines.

Context: Computerised monitoring systems help to check drug prescriptions and reduce medication errors. In addition, medication surveillance can also be initiated by questioning the patient, through questions from other care givers, or by the alertness of the pharmacy staff. Patients with complex medication regimens benefit from a regular medication review. This is a structured examination - in collaboration with the patient - of the medicines the patient uses. The aim is to reach maximal adherence and minimize medication-related problems. Although many computer programmes, handbooks, protocols and scientific papers have been written on medication safety, there are no evidence based guidelines available. These needed to be developed.

Description: The guidelines for medication surveillance and medication review are in development. They will be based on daily practice information, evidence from literature and experts' opinions. More pharmacy practice research is needed to fill the evidence gaps.

Lessons for guideline developers: Both guidelines reflect standard care provided by pharmacists nowadays. Furthermore they describe the value and surplus value of pharmacists as healthcare providers. Guidelines become central documents for designing computer programmes, professional education, and quality indicators.