A new report written on behalf of the European Collaborative Action on Medication Errors and Traceability (ECAMET) and the EAASM highlights the consequences when there is a lack of staff in complex medical treatment situations such as cancer care.

The report describes the impact of staff shortages and the size of the problem and also the severe impact of staff and family members. It also highlights that numerous electronic traceability systems and automation, being introduced is the most efficient way to reduce medication errors in cancer medication and improve efficiency to mitigate staff shortages.

The foreword which has been co-signed by leading stakeholders namely: All.Can, ECAMET Alliance, EHMA and ESNO, the essence of which is summarised here:

“We believe strongly that this issue of increased efficiency through digital solutions combined with the right human resource levels is fundamental to patient safety and enhanced health outcomes. We therefore call upon the EU institutions to address this within relevant legislation to ensure that Member State-wide staff shortages is acted upon with urgency”

Key finding of the report are summarised here:

  • There is a shortage of staff to administer complex medication regimens and a lack of human resources can only lead to a spiralling down of standards and efficiency of care
  • Digital solutions can be implemented quickly and efficiently and a study carried out revealed that of the 317 senior hospital pharmacists surveyed across Member States cited the main barriers to this were funding and human resources

About the EAASM

The European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines (EAASM) is the secretariat for the ECAMET Alliance and is a non-profit independent pan-European patient safety organisation dedicated to protecting patient safety by currently focusing on key medical areas: falsified medicine eradication, reduction of medication errors, a robust regulatory system for follow on nanomedicines and safer use of off label medicines usage.