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Patient safety

January 11, 2017

ISMP unveils 2016-2017 Targeted Medication Safety Best Practices for Hospitals

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) has released its “2016-2017 Targeted Medication Safety Best Practices for Hospitals,” which encourages national adoption of consensus-based best practices for specific medication safety issues that continue to cause fatal and harmful errors. While targeted for hospitals, some of the 11 best practices may be applicable to other health care settings. The best practices have been reviewed by experts and approved by ISMP’s board of trustees.

The following five new best practices have been added to the list:

  • Segregate, sequester, and differentiate all neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBs) from other medications, wherever they are stored in the organization.
  • Administer high-alert intravenous (IV) medication infusions via a programmable infusion pump utilizing dose error-reduction software.
  • Ensure all appropriate antidotes, reversal agents, and rescue agents are readily available. Have standardized protocols and/or coupled order sets in place that permit the emergency administration of all appropriate antidotes, reversal agents, and rescue agents used in the facility. Have directions for use/administration readily available in all clinical areas where the antidotes, reversal agents, and rescue agents are used.
  • Eliminate all 1,000 mL bags of sterile water (labeled for “injection,” “irrigation,” or “inhalation”) from all areas outside of the pharmacy.
  • When compounding sterile preparations, perform an independent verification to ensure that the proper ingredients (medications and diluents) are added, including confirmation of the proper amount (volume) of each ingredient prior to its addition to the final container.

Access the best practices.

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