Hospitals can improve high-alert med safety procedures with self-assessment – APhA submits compounding comments to FDA.

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Hospitals can improve high-alert med safety procedures with self-assessment – APhA submits compounding comments to FDA. – (866) 348-2889

Hospitals in the United States are required to identify and maintain active lists of high-alert medications, which isn’t hard to do. But when it comes to the next step of developing safety procedures for high-alert medications, the task can become more challenging.

For example, double-checks are usually a standard intervention for high-alert medications, according to Dan Degnan, PharmD, CPPS, FASHP, senior project manager at the Center for Medication Safety Advancement at Purdue University College of Pharmacy in West Lafayette, IN. But too often, not enough attention is given to the quality, documentation, and structure associated with double-checks of high-alert medications.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) knows about these concerns and others and released a new tool to help hospitals, long-term care facilities, and certain outpatient facilities evaluate best practices related to high-alert medications, as well as identify opportunities for improvement and track experiences over time. After completing the assessment, participants are encouraged to submit their findings to ISMP anonymously via a secure internet portal and in turn see how they compare to demographically similar organizations through a weighted score—in essence giving hospitals a means for improvement.

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