New learning technology adds ‘significant boost’ to prescribing safety in Canada

CBJ Newsmakers

LONDON and OTTAWA, Nov. 01, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —  The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (Royal College) has today taken a vital step towards championing Canadian patient safety, by introducing a digital pioneering assessment and eLearning tool for physicians focused on minimizing medication errors. 

Preventable medication hospitalizations cost over $140 million CAD in direct and indirect health care expenditures in Canada, according to the Canadian Patient Safety Institute. Lost productivity, including time off work, adds $12 million CAD to those costs. Further, The World Health Organization estimates the annual worldwide cost of incorrect prescriptions to be over $42 billion USD.

This new technology adopted by the Royal College is being provided by BPS Assessment, the skills and assessment arm of the British Pharmacological Society. Physicians will have access to online prescribing skills modules in Canada’s official languages (English and French), tailored for the needs of the Canadian healthcare context. The Prescribing Safely program, which will start in early 2019, follows a successful eight-week trial between the Royal College and BPS Assessment.

“These modules align with our priorities to provide our Fellows with engaging, relevant content to keep up to date on skills needed for treating patients in the 21st century,” said Dr. Andrew Padmos, Royal College CEO. “We’re proud to be partnering with BPS Assessment to create solutions to this complex problem.”

Also, Royal College Fellows will be offered the opportunity to contribute to the question-writing process for the modules, which will help to continually update and customise the platform for the Canadian medical community.

“It’s timely that we’re launching this tool during Canadian Patient Safety Week. It’s a subject that resonates with physicians across all specialties and we’re pleased to provide this tool to help with their lifelong learning,” said Dr. Susan Brien, Director of research, innovation and scholarship at the Royal College.

Jonathan Brüün, Managing Director of BPS Assessment, arrived in Ottawa on 29 October to sign the five-year deal.

He said: “We’re delighted to work with the Royal College in bringing our assessment technology to Canada. We believe this collaboration will provide a significant boost to improving standards in the safe administration of medicines, which we understand to be at the forefront of every prescriber’s mind. BPS Assessment is committed to improving public health and patient safety, and to helping physicians maintain their skills and standards. Our online training offers a unique contribution to those objectives. We can’t wait to get started.”

For more information please contact:

David Adams
Acting Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications, British Pharmacological Society
Work: +44 20 7239 0180
Cell: +44 7786 552498

Melissa Nisbett
Senior communications specialist, Communications and External Relations
T: 613-730-8177 ext. 426
Cell: 613-218-9570 

About the British Pharmacological Society

The British Pharmacological Society is a charity with a mission to promote and advance the whole spectrum of pharmacology. Founded in 1931, it is now a global community at the heart of pharmacology, with around 4,000 members from more than 60 countries worldwide. The Society leads the way in the research and application of pharmacology around the world through its scientific meetings, educational resources and peer-reviewed journals.

About the Royal College

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada is the home of specialty medicine in Canada, setting the standards for postgraduate medical education, supporting the continuing professional development of 50,000+ Fellows and affiliates, and supporting health system innovations nationwide. To find out more, please visit

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at