A Holiday Gift for you…some medication safety tips and links!

(It could be worse-it’s Ugly Holiday Sweater Day…it’s the thought that  counts, right?)

I know that it is a busy time of year, so here are some quick reminders and links to great medication safety tools proven helpful.  Not as good as cookies or a gift card, but well intended. 🙂

Here you go~

  •  AAAHC requires that a list be maintained of look-alike sound alike medications, and that steps are in place to prevent errors. A good way to make sure your facility meets this requirement is to print the Institute for Safe Medication Practices “Confused Name Drug List”, and highlight any medications used in your facility. Once identified, you may want to sticker those medications as an alert.

The list can be found at https://www.ismp.org/Tools/confuseddrugnames.pdf

You can find some stickers at http://www.medicus-health.com/look-alike-sound-alike-caution-labels.aspx

  • We all know that safe injection practices are a significant focus, and that we need to take active steps to ensure our facility’s compliance. The ASC Quality collaboration has a great toolkit to help, including what CMS surveyors are looking for, a poster titled “One Needle, One Syringe, One Time”, a policy template, and other tools and guideline links. You can find the toolkit at http://www.ascquality.org/safeinjectionpracticestoolkit.cfm
  • A quick documentation check: Look at your medication documentation as part of their routine audit (if not already). Are all medication orders timed? Are verbal orders signed within 24 hours if applicable? Are allergies listed in one consistent location? These are all compliance requirements that may ding you if not covered. Better to take the time to spot audit now then answer to an audit ding.
  • Pharmacy Formulary: Does your facility have a list of your current medications? An easy way to make sure your list is current is to run a vendor report for all medications purchased over a recent time period.   Have the staff member responsible for medications cross check it with your current formulary, or use the list itself as your formulary. If you make any changes, run it by your medical director and Governing Board for official approval.
  • Labeling:  A great in-service will remind the staff how important it is to label meds. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices has an article with some great tips to verify compliance. You can find it at http://www.ismp.org/newsletters/acutecare/showarticle.aspx?id=93

 Here’s hoping that you find these tools helpful, and that you are staying warm this holiday season in your attractive sweaters. Happy Holidays!






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