How a medication officer is 'improving safety at every step' 

Stephen Hoang, MD, is the medication safety officer and a pediatric anesthesiologist at Children's Health System of Texas in Dallas. He recently connected with Becker's to share his team's biggest priority for 2024 and proudest accomplishment of 2023.

Note: Responses were lightly edited for length and clarity.

Question: What is your top priority for 2024 and why?

Dr. Stephen Hoang: Our medication safety team's top priority in 2024 is to reduce the number of medication errors that reach the patient. Errors are bound to occur, but if we can prevent them from reaching the patient, we can prevent patient harm. One strategy to do this is by using natural process and constraint process designs that make it hard to do the wrong thing and make it easier to do the right thing. Another strategy is to encourage good catches by all team members at every step of the medication-use process.

Q: What was your proudest accomplishment from 2023 and why?

SH: As the medication safety officer for our pediatric system, I am most proud of the creation of our multidisciplinary medication safety team in 2023 with designated physician, nursing and pharmacy leaders. Given that medication errors can account for a significant portion of adverse events in any hospital system, there is a strong need to address this type of hospital-acquired condition. Thus, our team is making a difference in improving safety at every step of the medication-use process. By emphasizing medication safety as a core component of what we do, we can improve the quality of the overall care that we provide to every child.

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