Medication Safety Self-Assessment for Practicing Paramedics Introduction

Welcome to the Medication Safety Self-Assessment for Practicing Paramedics (MSSA-Paramedics).

MSSA-Paramedics is a program that can be used by individual paramedics to measure their own adoption of known best practices to make medication use safer. Paramedics can assess their own practice and submit their results anonymously.

As more paramedics complete the assessment, we will also see trends emerge in the profession’s medication safety practices. Individual paramedics can compare their results to the group results. At the organizational level, quality and safety teams may want to use the de-identified data to look at trends or for improvement planning.

Paramedics working in emergency response or community settings will benefit from completing this self-assessment in several ways. Participating in this assessment will help you to:

  • Learn about safe medication practices
  • Identify your own baseline when it comes to medication safety
  • Recognize opportunities for you to improve safety in medication management
  • Monitor your progress over time by repeating the assessment

Using the MSSA-Paramedics

The MSSA-Paramedics focuses on medication practices within an individual paramedic’s direct control or those that have a direct impact on the paramedic.

As a paramedic completing the assessment, you should not expect to score highly in all areas. The MSSA-Paramedics will instead help you to identify focus areas for improving the safety of your medication practices. Think of the assessment as a professional development tool and plan to re-take the assessment over time to see how you improve.

Some of the practices described in the assessment are innovative and may not yet be in wide use within the paramedicine environment. You may think of these as leading practices. They are based on medication safety research and expert analysis of medication incidents in paramedicine and other health care sectors.

The MSSA-Paramedics assessment and its findings are intended for examining medication practices from the level of the individual paramedic. Paramedic services and other organizations may use the MSSA-Paramedics to measure medication safety practices at the individual level across an organization, while keeping the responses of individual paramedics anonymous. Organizations can use MSSA results combined with learning from workplace safety initiatives, including review of incident reports, to support continuous quality improvement.

A complementary assessment tool, MSSA-Paramedic Organizations, is available for the organizations where paramedics work to measure system-level medication safety practices.


The MSSA-Paramedics is the first assessment program to allow one group of healthcare professionals in Canada – namely paramedics – to measure their own medication safety practices. It is a collaboration between the Regional Paramedic Program for Eastern Ontario (RPPEO) and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada (ISMP Canada). Many experts worked on the research, development and validation of this assessment program, including frontline paramedics, paramedic service leaders, and representatives from academic institutions and professional associations.


The RPPEO and ISMP Canada are not standard-setting organizations. The assessment statements in this document are not intended to represent a minimum standard of practice.

Privacy and Confidentiality

The web-based survey tool will immediately download the information into a secure database maintained solely by ISMP Canada. ISMP Canada is committed to protecting the privacy, confidentiality, and security of any information for which it is responsible. All activities related to MSSA data are conducted in compliance with ISMP Canada’s privacy policy.

Only combined results (data) will be available for comparison or analysis. Individual paramedics or organizations who submit an assessment are not identifiable in the comparative data. Paramedics and paramedic organizations may only access their own assessment or combined results that do not identify any individual or organization.

ISMP Canada will use the combined data for quality improvement, research, and education purposes.