ASHP Publishes New Medication Safety Officer's Handbook



May 17, 2013

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) has just published its new Medication Safety Officer’s Handbook by Connie M. Larson, Pharm.D., and Deb Saine, M.S., FASHP, FSMSO. This new resource offers expert guidance in every area of a medication safety officer’s (MSO’s) work, from setting up safety systems to dealing with personnel problems, along with sample forms, checklists, and other job tools.

Readers will learn not only strategies for making changes, but also systems for error reporting and analysis and guidance on managing adverse outcomes. This how-to guide includes detailed information for all areas of medication safety, from automated dispensing cabinet override criteria to examples of a Sentinel Event alert gap analysis. Written by experts for pharmacists and nurses who oversee medication safety, it is the essential reference for all MSOs.

The book answers important questions such as:

  • What are all the responsibilities of an MSO?
  • How do I prioritize?
  • With no formal authority, how do I make changes?
  • How do I design a template for a modified root cause analysis?
  • What should be included in a medication safety orientation for staff?
  • Where is the most trustworthy information on a particular safety topic?

To place orders for the book, ISBN: 978-1-58528-210-4, and view additional material, go to, email, or call 1-866-279-0681 (U.S. & Canada), 001-301-664-8700 (International). An eBook version is also available through the ASHP eBooks store at

To arrange an interview, book signing, or to discuss co-marketing or bulk sales, please contact Rachel Gellman at

About the Authors

Connie M. Larson, Pharm.D., is the medication safety officer and associate director of Quality and Safety for Hospital Pharmacy Services for the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System in Chicago. Larson’s interest in medication safety started early in her career while working in areas taking care of critically ill patients and other vulnerable patient populations such as pediatric and neonatal patients. She brings 25 years of medication safety expertise to her current position, where she provides leadership in medication safety initiatives, medication-use technologies, and operational management. Larson also introduces medication safety practices to students and residents through experiential rotations and teaching at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy. She earned her B.S. and Pharm.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy.

Deb Saine, M.S., FASHP, FSMSO, is the medication safety officer at Valley Health/Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, Va., where she provides leadership in medication safety initiatives and medication-use technologies. Her professional experience includes clinical, medication safety, and administrative roles for critical access, community, and academic medical centers. She earned her B.S. in Pharmacy from the University of Toledo, and an M.S. in Management from Antioch University.

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