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    Health-system pharmacists embrace medication standardization campaign

    Completion of Phase I of ASHP’s Standardize 4 Safety initiative is fast approaching.

    Branded as the first national effort to standardize medication concentrations with the goal of reducing medication errors, Phase I includes standardization of > 50kg continuous infusions and compounded liquid concentrations. Completion is set for year’s end.

    Phase II, < 50kg continuous infusions and standard doses of oral liquids, is scheduled for sometime in 2017. Phases III and IV—intermittent medications, Patient Controlled Analgesia, epidurals, and standard doses of oral chemo agents—are scheduled for 2018.

    Deborah PaskoDeborah Pasko, director of ASHP’s Center on Medication Safety and Quality and principal investigator for ASHP’s Standardize 4 Safety campaign, told Drug Topics that standardization is essential because hospitals often use different concentrations of the same medication in different care areas.

    “Frequently what we’ve seen happen is that a patient goes to the operating room from the emergency department or an acute care unit and the concentrations are different,” said Pasko.

    She pointed out that when a patient goes to an acute care unit, the nurses have to take those infusions down. Then pharmacy has to remake products for them of a different concentration and then they have to re-program all the IV pumps.

    Anthony Vecchione
    Anthony Vecchione is Executive Editor of Drug Topics.

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