Sample Safety Strategies Lead to Citations!
There are some wonderful medication safety resources available on the internet. ISMP, or the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, has tools, resources, education, and even error reporting information. ISMP has free High Alert and Sound Alike Look Alike Drug lists available for download.
JDJ Consulting provides clients with sample High Alert lists and Sound Alike Look Alike Drug lists (see below). These lists include safety strategies for avoiding errors and reducing risk.
These resources are a great place to start, BUT YOU SHOULD NOT HANG THESE SAMPLE LISTS ON YOUR WALL WITHOUT REVISION!!
High Alert lists, Sound Alike/ Look Alike Drug lists, and even Hazardous Drug lists MUST be specific to YOUR facility. What does that mean? It means that only drugs appearing on your formulary should be included on that list. You'll need to see if any drugs at your center should be added to the list based on their potential for harm if misused, whether they're easily confused with another drug, or if there's another reason you feel that drug should be handled especially carefully.
The reason we have these lists is to reduce the risk of error through a visual alert (the list is hung in the medication preparation area) AND through utilization of safety strategies. By creating a list specific to your facility, you're demonstrating to surveyors that you're aware of the risks associated with that drug, you've considered how to prevent harm, and you've educated your staff on your center's safety strategy.