Abbreviation List - Options

Is a list of acceptable abbreviations required?    

No. The requirements found at IM.02.02.01 do not require organizations to maintain a list of acceptable abbreviations. Developing and maintaining a list of acceptable abbreviations would be an organizational decision.   IM.02.02.01 EP 2 requires that organizations use 'standardized' abbreviations.  Any reasonable approach to standardizing abbreviations, acronyms, and symbols is acceptable. Examples may include:
  • Standardized abbreviations developed by the individual organization.
  • Use of a published reference source. However, if multiple abbreviations, symbols or acronyms are used for the same term, the organization identifies what will be used to eliminate any ambiguity.
  • A decision that individuals who work in the organization may use any abbreviation, acronym, or symbol that is not on the list of unacceptable abbreviations. However, if multiple abbreviations, symbols, or acronyms exist for the same term, the organization identifies what will be used to eliminate ambiguity.
The following list of abbreviations prohibited by The Joint Commission is published in the Information Management (IM) chapter of the accreditation manual at IM.02.02.01 and states: The organization follows its list of prohibited abbreviations, acronyms, symbols, and dose designations, which includes the following:

 Q.D., QD, q.d., qd
 Q.O.D., QOD, q.o.d, qod
 Trailing zero (X.0 mg)
 Lack of leading zero (.X mg)

Note 1: A trailing zero may be used only when required to demonstrate the level of precision of the value being reported, such as for laboratory results, imaging studies that report the size of lesions, or catheter/tube sizes. It may not be used in medication orders or other medication-related documentation.
Note 2: The prohibited list applies to all orders, preprinted forms, and medication-related documentation. Medication-related documentation can be either handwritten or electronic.
Last updated on July 25, 2018
Manual: Home Care
Chapter: Information Management IM

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