April 26, 2018 (Dublin): Irish software company Pharmapod today announces that it has secured $3million (CADS) in investment from the Canadian Pharmacists Association (‘CPhA’). Pharmapod develops market leading technology for reducing medication errors for patients and has recently won a competitive tender to implement a medication error reporting system across over 4,300 pharmacies in Ontario, approx. 45% of Canada’s pharmacies. In what is the largest medication safety program of its kind in Canada, Pharmapod’s platform was chosen as it is robust, intuitive and highly scalable.
Already with offices in Ireland, the UK and Canada, further expansion of Pharmapod’s Canadian and international operations will be driven by the CPhA investment. It will also be used to drive further growth in the hospital and care home sectors. Following today’s announcement, the CPhA will become a minority investor with one seat on the Pharmapod Board of Directors.
Founder and CEO Leonora O’Brien commented on the investment: “It has always been Pharmapod’s vision to be a professionally led solution for patient safety. Together with CPhA we will effectively execute on our shared vision for safeguarding patient safety globally and we are delighted to have CPhA’s support and partnership”.
The cost associated with medication errors has been estimated at $42 billion (USD) annually or almost 1% of total global health expenditure. The issue has now become a key focus for the World Health Organisation – announcing its Global Patient Safety Challenge, it aims to reduce severe, avoidable medication-associated harm in all countries by 50% over the next 5 years. The Pharmapod platform is now well positioned as an effective tool to underpin the capture, analysis and reduction of errors internationally.
O’Brien continued: “Medication errors are a huge problem across the entire healthcare system, not just pharmacy. Here in Ireland for example, medication errors are responsible for around 25% of litigation cases against GP’s”. The solution can also help with the waiting times in hospitals. Between 5% and 8% of all hospital admissions are due to medication errors, and these are preventable. Medication errors also increase the length of stay in hospital. Addressed effectively, costs can be significantly reduced for payors such as the HSE and the public”.
In Ireland, pharmacies must keep a record internally of any errors that have occurred but there is no obligation to record to a national database of errors. As a result, all the experiences and learnings from errors are not been shared, it is all kept within the individual pharmacy or pharmacy group. The absence of a robust profession-specific reporting system in Ireland, means it is impossible to monitor trends on a national level and effectively engage in prevention, multi-disciplinary learning or systems improvement.
“We are very pleased to announce this exciting partnership with Pharmapod, who 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.”
Leonora O’Brien is the First Irish Woman selected for EY’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women™, Europe – a year-long executive leadership program designed for established, women-led businesses that are ready to scale operations and become global market leaders.
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 www.pharmapodhq.com.
About the Canadian Pharmacists Association
The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is the uniting national voice of pharmacy and the pharmacist profession in Canada. As pharmacists undertake an enhanced role in the delivery of health care 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. More information is available at www.pharmacists.ca.
For more information, please contact:
Leonora O’Brien, Founder & CEO
+353 87 7730896
Strategic Communications Manager
Canadian Pharmacists Association