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ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. November 4, 2021;26(22); 1-4.

Delays in diagnosis and treatment during life-threatening emergencies such as strokes can result in irreversible patient harm. This article discusses a variety of factors contributing to errors in administering hypertonic sodium chloride in emergent situations. The piece shares recommendations touching on various elements of the medication delivery process to enhance safety.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. September 9, 2021;26(18);1-5.

Disrespectful behavior is a persistent contributor to failures in medical care. This article summarizes influences that enable the acceptance and perpetuation of unprofessional behaviors and calls for data to assess its presence and impact in health care environments. The deadline for survey participation is now closed.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. October 7, 2021;26(20):1-4.

Production pressure and low staff coverage can result in medication mistakes in community pharmacies. This article shares reported vaccine errors and factors contributing to mistaken administration of flu and COVID vaccines. Storage, staffing and collaboration strategies are shared to protect against vaccine mistakes.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. June 3, 2021; 26(11): 1-5.

Concentrated potassium chloride is a high-alert medication for which dosing errors are particularly injurious. This article shares the root causes of IV-push missteps with this medication during a code. Recommendations for improvement shared center on team characteristics and communication.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition. May 6, 2021;26(9):1-4.

Look-alike labeling is a known contributor to medication errors. This article summarizes common factors resulting in packaging and labeling concerns. Recommendations for improvement include partnerships with industry regarding the use of risk management practices to improve the accuracy of labeling prior to product launch.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition. April 22, 2021.26(8):1-5.

Process change can introduce opportunities for error into established practice. This article builds on results of an earlier survey to expand the record on the types of COVID vaccine errors such as wrong patient age, dilution problems, and vaccine card confusion.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care. March 11, 2021;26(5):1-6.

Skin patches are a convenient medication delivery method but may harbor unique threats to safety. This article examines transdermal patch errors submitted to a national reporting program to provide safety improvement insights. Recommendations suggested for improvement focus on topics such as prescribing, patch management upon hospital admission, and labeling issues.

March 2020--January 2021.

Medication safety is improved through the sharing of frontline improvement experiences and concerns. These articles share recommendations to reduce risks associated with distinct areas of the medication use process. The topics discuss areas that require specific attention during the COVID-19 pandemic such as the use of smart pumps and automated dispensing cabinets.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. December 3, 2020;25(24).

Infusion misadministration is not always immediately evident. This story illustrates the problem of underdosing during infusions and suggests that unclear policies and lack of problem awareness contribute to the persistence of the mistake. The piece recommends education, use of data, and storytelling as tactics to reduce underdosing.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. November 19, 2020;25(23):1-6.

Safety professionals encourage learning from errors to enhance the safe use of new processes and products. This article reviews vaccine error experiences and provides insight for the implementation of the COVID vaccine to help practitioners plan and activate safe vaccination processes.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. November 5, 2020; 25(22).

Mistakes in the intravenous medication preparation process can result in patient harm. This article summarizes the results of a national survey on preparation of sterile, injectable medications or infusions in the ambulatory setting. Safety issues documented include time pressures, lack of staff training, and unreliable adherence to standards.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition. October 8, 2020;25(20):1-4

In-depth investigations provide multidisciplinary insights that inform sustainable improvement opportunities. This newsletter story highlights a drug administration error examination by a dedicated office in the United Kingdom highlight the value of a commitment to deep, non-punitive analysis of patient safety incidents to enable transparency and learning.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. July 30, 2020;25(15).

This article reports on the results of a survey on the use of practices to improve the safety of prescribing and dispensing of long-acting opioids and use of the override feature in automated dispensing cabinets. The approximately 250 hospitals responding shared experience indicating weakness in implementing improvement efforts on the two practices studied. The results found that hospitals employing a medication safety officer had stronger uptake of the best practices.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. June 4, 2020;25(11).

Interventions to improve safety must include a range of tactics to ensure success. This article discusses how educational efforts alone will not reliably result in lasting change, human-centered weaknesses inherent in educational approaches and shares a model of overlapping actions required to generate sustainable system improvement.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. May 7, 2020;25(9).

Lack of familiarity with smart pumps can lead to user error and patient harm. The article describes conditions that lead to a programing mistake. It suggests enhanced “hands on” education, improved medication labeling, required engagement with drug libraries when programing pumps and assessed equipment competency as actions to mitigate similar incident occurrence.  
ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition. 2020;25.
Dose error-reduction systems (DERS) are standard functions in smart pumps. While they are designed to recognize dosing and programming errors, it has been observed that DERS are not fully utilized in operating rooms (OR). This article shares recommendations for addressing this medication safety gap including working with anesthesia providers and OR team members to establish use of DERS as an expected practice.

ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. February 13, 2020;25(3):1-6.

Errors in IV medication use can result in serious adverse health consequences. This article shares an analysis of approximately 200 oxytocin incident reports. Five areas of concern identified include prescribing, look alike/sound alike packaging, preparation, administration and communication problems. Patient engagement, bar coding use and verbal order reduction are highlighted amongst the listed improvement strategies.