Introduction: National reporting programmes usually collect and analyse medication error reports from healthcare providers in their own country and only disseminate guidance to healthcare providers within the borders of their country. It is unclear how much different national programmes could learn from each other. The aim of this study was therefore to explore to what extent alerts and newsletters about medication errors issued in other countries could also be relevant for the Netherlands.Conclusion: This study showed for a broad range of errors that the Dutch national reporting programme could learn from the three reporting programmes in Canada, the US and the UK. National reporting programmes can benefit from sharing alerts and newsletters that enhance the learning between countries.Methods: Ninety disseminated information items that had been issued by three national programmes (Canada, the US and the UK) in the period from June 2009 until June 2012 were collected. These items were compared with the national reporting programme Central Medication Incidents Registration (CMR-NL) in The Netherlands. Each selected item was subsequently assessed independently with six assessment criteria: is the medicine available in the Netherlands? If so, could a similar error occur in the Netherlands? Did the CMR-NL reporting programme receive any reports about a comparable (or even identical) error? If so, did these reports include any errors with serious temporary or permanent harm? Did the CMR-NL disseminate output about it?; If so, what was the dissemination date of CMR-NL?Results: From the 90 items, 87.8 % (n = 79) were relevant for Dutch healthcare. For 43 of the 90 items (47.8 %), the CMR-NL had received comparable (or even identical) errors but had not disseminated any alert or newsletter about these errors. The CMR-NL had disseminated an alert or newsletter for 14 of the 90 items (15.6 %).

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40264-014-0229-9, hdl.handle.net/1765/84500
Journal Drug Safety
Citation
Cheung, K.C, van den Bemt, P.M.L.A, Bouvy, M.L, Wensing, M.E, & de Smet, P.A. (2014). Relevance of Foreign Alerts and Newsletters for the Medication Errors Reporting Programme in The Netherlands: An Explorative Retrospective Study. Drug Safety, 37(11), 981–987. doi:10.1007/s40264-014-0229-9