The Medication Safety Thermometer is a measurement tool for improvement that focuses on: medication reconciliation, allergy status, medication omission, and identifying harm from high risk medicines.

As a point of care survey the Medication Safety Thermometer follows a three step process in order to identify harm occurring from medication error.  Data are collected on one day each month and enable wards, teams and organisations to: understand the burden of medication error and harm, measure improvement over time and connect frontline teams to the issues of medication error and harm, enabling immediate improvements to patient care. Data can be used as a baseline to direct improvement efforts and to measure improvement over time.

Data are collected across the health economy in acute hospitals, community hospitals, intermediate care, care homes and district nursing services (only where nurses administer medicines).  The recommended sample is 100% of patients under your care a single day each month.

The tool was developed by a community of users who iteratively tested the tool to ensure it is quick and easy to use and gives useful information which can be used for local improvement.  A full guidance document describing the development of the tool can be found above.