WebEx, October 27, 2011


Wednesday, October 27, 2011
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Meeting by Webex
Draft Minutes

Goals and Anticipated Outcomes:

  • Introduce new Chair and Vice Chair
  • Vote on membership renewals
  • Discuss Criminalization Statement revision and outreach
  • Subcommittee reports and action items

Council members present:

Manisha Shah (NPSF), Chair
Frank Federico (IHI), Vice-Chair
Shawn Becker (USP), Secretary
N. Lee Rucker (AARP)
Jean Krause (ACPF)
James Burris (AGS)
Barry Dickinson (AMA)
Yvette Bolla (ANA)
James Owens (APA)
Ann Gaffey (ASHRM)
Tom Clark (ASCP)
Bona Benjamin (ASHP)
Donald Martin (APSF)

Rita L. Brueckner (VA)
Michael Gaunt (ISMP)
Crystal A. Riley (TJC)
Elizabeth (Scotti) Russell (NABP)
Tara Modisett (NASPA)
Maureen Cahill (NCSBN)
Deborah Davidson (NCPIE)
Wendy Nickel (SHM)
Carol Holquist (FDA)
Donna Bohannon (USP)
Diane Cousins
Rita Munley Gallagher
Deborah Nadzam


Organizations not represented:

American Academy of Physicians Assistants
American Hospital Association
Department of Defense
Generic Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America


Donna Goldberg (USP)

  • Opening, Procedural, and Administrative Matters - Manisha Shah
  • Ms. Becker introduced Manisha Shah as the newly elected Chair and Frank Federico as Vice Chair. The Council thanked Bona Benjamin and Rita Munley Gallagher for their service as Chair and Vice-Chair.
  • Ms. Shah called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m.
  • Ms. Gaffey moved and it was seconded to approve the Minutes from the July 13th meeting; the motion passed unanimously.
  • Ms. Cousins moved and it was seconded to approve the October 27th meeting agenda; the motion passed unanimously.
  • Ms. Shah asked members to reflect on the goals of NCC-MERP, and asked if we were still meeting today's needs. She said the Council is not getting the visibility it has in the past, especially from the younger workforce. Ms. Shah indicated that she has met numerous individuals who did not know about the NCC-MERP. She asked members to think how best to publicize what NCC-MERP does and to give feedback on new projects for consideration by the Council.
  • Dr. Nadzam said the Council may be able to increase viability through the development of a white paper. She also mentioned that it may be helpful to create a regular monthly newsletter to announce the Council's activities and accomplishments to a wider audience.
  • Several members said we should use each of our organizations to share news from the Council. Several members thought it would be a good idea for the Council to generate "news briefs," which could be added to their member newsletters, and/or provide materials, which they can distribute at annual conferences. Ms. Becker mentioned that the Communique was developed to push the news from each meeting to the membership for their internal and external use. If this is not meeting the needs of the Council then we should consider other mechanisms to get the work of the Council recognized. It was also suggested that each member organization should have a reference to the NCC MERP on its website and add a link to the Council's activities.
  • Secretariat's Report - Shawn Becker
  • Donna Bohannon was introduced as the new alternate for USP.
  • Ms. Becker announced that NCC-MERP will be recognized by ISMP for 15 years of work in medication safety at the Cheers Award Dinner, December 6, 2011 in New Orleans. Dr. Gallagher and Ms. Becker will represent the Council. Bona Benjamin will be recognized along with others for her work with ASHP on drug shortages.
  • Council Member Renewals: The ACP Foundation and Deborah Nadzam were approved for renewal. Ms. Becker announced that the AAPA is up for renewal in February 2012.
  • Requests for copyright permission:
  • Dr. Bob Wachter is publishing a new edition of his book and requested permission to use the category index which also appeared in the first edition, the request was approved unanimously.
  • Dr. Thomadsten requested permission to include a table format for taxonomy in his "Handbook of Human Factors and Ergonomics in Patient Safety." This request was also approved unanimously.

Action Item:

Ms. Becker will contact the representative from AAPA to access its continued participation on the Council.

  • Subcommittee Reports

Criminalization Statement - Scotti Russell

Ms. Russell presented the subcommittees recommendations for revision of the criminalization statement. Agreement was reached that the proposed changes did not alter the intent or purpose of the statement. Members were asked to review the changes and determine if a revised document would require additional review by their organizations. A discussion also took place on the NCC-MERP vision and mission statements. A suggestion was made to expand the scope of the mission statement to include patient safety. Council members agreed that there are many organizations focusing on patient safety and in order to survive the Council must demonstrate its uniqueness, i.e., its focus on medication safety and medication errors.

Action Item:

Finalize criminalization statement and send out to members for a final legal or governing board approval. Review the Vision and Mission statement for possible revision.

NCC MERP Copyright Permissions and Use of Taxonomy - Diane Cousins
Ms. Cousins reported from the subcommittee on granting copyright permissions. She addressed the request made by Johns Hopkins University for permission to change the NCC-MERP taxonomy at their discretion. Ms. Cousins said the subcommittee reviewed all issues related to copyright currently appearing on the NCC-MERP website; they also consulted with USP's general counsel. One of the questions they asked was on the Council's liability. The subcommittee agreed that if any changes are made to the taxonomy there must be an acknowledgment by that particular author to show the difference from the original NCC-MERP language. The text also must state who made the change. The subcommittee recommended the inclusion of the current year in the copyright on all pages. Ms. Cousins will continue to Chair this subcommittee and will review future requests for use of taxonomy and/or category index. She reminded members that text from NCC-MERP is posted with the intention that it be used to advance medication safety. Ms. Shah asked if the membership was aware of anyone using the NCC-MERP taxonomy and/or category index without permission. Nobody was aware of any misuse.

Quick Refill Promise Ads - Michael Gaunt
Dr. Gaunt proposed a draft statement to show NCC-MERP's disagreement with the practice of advertising quick refills from certain pharmacies. Members asked whether patients had time to discuss concerns or to ask questions with pharmacists. The Council agreed that the focus on productivity may negatively impact the pharmacist's activities to review the prescription for appropriateness and errors. They asked if research is available to indicate the number of errors or harm that patients have experienced as a result. Dr. Gaunt said that ISMP recently published a commentary on this topic and has collected a number of patient stories. Several members recommended that there be a review of research into this area. Others also suggested that informing the public about potential dangers with speedy refills would be an effective approach. NICPIE and AARP have developed materials focusing on acetaminophen. Dr. Gaunt said we could use the same method for a message on speedy refills; the message should have broad appeal. Ms. Rucker noted that consumers need to be convinced that time is not a must and can lead to mistakes. Education is needed and public service announcement may help. Council members requested that the subcommittee review existing literature and available materials and edit Dr. Gaunt's draft statement to add a patient perspective. Members also suggested providing information directly to the public about the potential dangers as a result of speedy refills.

Action Item:

Subcommittee to review literature for reports of patient harm due to quick prescription refills. Edit draft statement on "quick refill promise," and add a patient perspective.

Medication Measurement and PQA - Frank Federico
Mr. Federico reported on the present work of adopting measures that address medication safety. He reported on a meeting of representatives from the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals; a group examining specific measures focusing on high-alert medications. He said the goal will be to provide a reliable set of measures that can be used to support the Partnership for Patients Initiative. The Council said that they would like a report on PQA at each meeting.

Action Item:

Report on PQA activities during Council meetings

  • Member Updates and Requests
  • Ms. Russell asked the Council to approve a change to the NCC-MERP Mission statement. She asked for the addition of the word "related" to the mission statement. Ms. Benjamin moved and it was seconded to approve the addition. The vote passed by majority.
  • Action Item: Add word "related" to NCC-MERP Mission Statement.
  • Next Steps and Next Meeting Date

The next NCC-MERP will meet by Webex on Thursday, January 19 from 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

Meeting Date: 
October 27, 2011