Establishment of a community of practice on the safe handling of hazardous drugs in Quebec

28 September 2021

C. Delafoy1, J-F. Bussières1,2, C. Tanguay1
1 Unité de Recherche en Pratique Pharmaceutique, Département de pharmacie, Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine, Montréal, Québec, Canada
2 Faculté de pharmacie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada

The creation of communities of practice as a mean of knowledge transfer is gaining interest in Quebec, for instance in pharmacovigilance and in clinical research support. The recent update of the safe handling of hazardous drugs Prevention Guide from the Quebec health and safety association ASSTSAS offered the opportunity to develop a community of practice about the safe handling of hazardous drugs.

To describe the procedures for the establishment of a community of practice on the safe handling of hazardous drugs in Quebec.

Case study. Six stages have been identified for the establishment of the community of practice: 1) obtaining support, 2) identification of a governance structure and expert members volunteering to launch the community, 3) identification of designated members, 4) identification of communication tools, 5) identification of operating rules, 6) identification of objectives for the first year.

The support of the ASSTSAS and the participation of the members of the Committee was obtained in April 2021. Thirty-one heads of pharmacy departments were contacted in May 2021 to identify a pharmacist and a nurse representative as members of the inter-organizational and intersectoral community of practice. As of June 17, 2021, the community of practice included 28 care facilities and 81 members designated by their center. Virtual meetings and document sharing is done with Microsoft Teams®. Members are free to discuss their practices by chatting on the group. Questions about the Guide are collected and sent to the ASSTSAS. The theme of the meetings is planned based on questions received beforehand. Members will also have the opportunity to present the practices in place in their center. Eight one-hour meetings were targeted for the first year. The first meeting took place in June 2021 and focused on carrying out a self-assessment of compliance with the safe handling recommendations of the ASSTSAS Guide.

This original initiative supports best practices around the safe handling of hazardous drugs. More work is needed to assess the impact.

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