CPhA invests in medication error reporting platform

Leonora O'BrienOTTAWA – The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is investing $3 million in Pharmapod – a medication error reporting platform that is already playing a vital role in improving patient safety and supporting pharmacists across the globe in tracking and reducing medication errors.

“We are very pleased to announce this exciting partnership with Pharmapod, which is recognized as a world leader in patient safety,” said Alistair Bursey, chair, Canadian Pharmacists Association.

“Enhancing patient safety is one of the core foundations of CPhA’s vision and we are dedicated to supporting the adoption of patient safety strategies and tools to support pharmacists across Canada and around the world.”

Pharmapod, based in Ireland, produces software that enables pharmacists to systematically record medication-related incidents and MSOs to derive intelligence and identify risks in practice.

It facilitates root cause analysis, and helps Identify what contributes to errors within an organization and to implement processes to continually improve patient experiences.

The cloud-based software runs on mobile devices and desktops. According to the company, the system eases benchmarking of individual pharmacies, regions or entire organizations against the broader industry to identify areas for improvement.

The investment is a further commitment to patient safety and builds upon the existing partnership between CPhA and Pharmapod to deliver a new mandatory error reporting system in the province of Ontario, announced in October 2017.

Following the announcement, CPhA will become a minority investor with one seat on the Pharmapod Board of Directors.

For its part, Pharmapod intends to use the investment from the Canadian Pharmacists Association to expand further in Canada and into other geographical markets. The company, which is also active in Ireland and Britain, plans to triple its employee numbers from 16 to 48 people over the next two years, according to a report in the Irish Times.

Designed, built and backed by pharmacists, the Pharmapod platform has demonstrated value in Europe as a very robust medication error reporting platform for the collection and analysis of medication incidents. The cloud-based solution is intuitive and empowers pharmacists to identify risks and continuously improve their practice.

Founder and CEO Leonora O’Brien (pictured) says the CPhA-Pharmapod partnership is an exciting one for healthcare. “It has always been the Pharmapod vision to be a professionally led solution and CPhA is the uniting national voice of pharmacy and the pharmacist profession in Canada. Medication errors are a huge problem across the entire healthcare system.

“As the medication experts within the healthcare team, it’s important that pharmacists play a central role in designing effective solutions that will benefit patients across the entire healthcare system.”

Medication errors are a global issue that cause the death or injury of millions of patients worldwide each year. The cost associated with medication errors has been estimated at $42 billion (USD) annually or almost 1% of total global health expenditure.

“We have become a go-to place for data,” Ms. O’Brien told the Irish Times. “Prior to our platform being developed, a lot of knowledge gained about errors would often stay locked within individual pharmacies. A doctor might learn from a mistake, as might a pharmacist, but it normally wouldn’t go beyond this. Now, healthcare professionals have a way to share information and better monitor risks in a way that also greatly improves transparency.”

The issue has been identified by the World Health Organization as the focus of its most recent Global Patient Safety Challenge – a global initiative to reduce severe, avoidable medication-associated harm in all countries by 50% over the next five years.

CPhA looks forward to supporting Pharmapod to improve patient safety, both in Canada and across the globe, and provide pharmacists with the tools, resources and data they need to improve the health and safety of their patients.

About the Canadian Pharmacists Association
The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is the national voice of pharmacy and the pharmacist profession in Canada. As pharmacists undertake an enhanced role in the delivery of healthcare services, CPhA ensures that the profession is recognized as a national leader in health care, influencing the policies, programs, budgets and initiatives affecting the profession and the health of Canadians.

About Pharmapod
The Pharmapod platform is a pioneering cloud-based solution designed to drive standards of patient safety across the pharmacy profession world-wide. Pharmapod empowers healthcare professionals to identify risks in their practice, share their learnings and prevent recurrence of patient harm. Pharmapod’s professionally led team offers in-depth domain knowledge and expertise of the industry. The platform has succeeded in creating a hugely positive network of pharmacy teams united in shared goals – real peer-to-peer sharing of experience and delivering excellence in patient care. For more information, visit

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