'Medication safety plans needed' - Hiqa
One in three hospitals inspected over the course of a year had no formal plan on medication safety, according to a report from the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa).
Inspectors checked the medication practices in 34 hospitals between November 2016 to October 2017.
Hiqa's inspector manager in healthcare regulation Aoife Lenihan said: "As modern medicine continues to advance, increasing medication treatment options are available for patients with proven benefit for treating illness and preventing disease.
"This advancement has brought with it an increase in the risks, errors and adverse events associated with medication use.
"Therefore, it is essential that hospitals have necessary elements in place to ensure patient safety in line with best practice and research."
The watchdog has called for a national approach to planning for medication safety.
This is needed to reduce the number of medication errors and improve patient safety.
The overview report found that there was significant under-reporting of medication incidents in some hospitals.