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Institute for Safe Medication Practices. August 4-5, 2022.
This virtual workshop will explore tactics to ensure medication safety, including strategic planning, risk assessment, and Just Culture principles.
Plymouth Meeting, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; 2022.
This updated report describes best practices to ensure safety when preparing sterile compounds, including pharmacist verification of orders entered into computerized provider order entry systems. The guidelines emphasize the role of technologies such as barcoding and robotic image recognition as approaches to enhance safety. In addition, it covers safe practices when technologies are not available.
Lohmeyer Q, Schiess C, Wendel Garcia PD, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;Epub Mar 8.
Tall Man lettering (TML) is a recommended strategy to reduce look-alike or sound-alike medication errors. This simulation study used eye tracking to investigate how of ‘tall man lettering’ impacts medication administration tasks. The researchers found that TML of prelabeled syringes led to a significant decrease in misidentified syringes and improved visual attention.

Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

Workplace bullying and disrespectful behavior have been shown to negatively affect fall rates, medication errors, and other adverse events. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices is seeking clinician input on and experiences with disrespectful behaviors in the ambulatory care setting (e.g., community, specialty, and long-term care pharmacies, physician practices, and outpatient visits) and how organizations have been working to improve the culture of respect. The survey will be open until May 27, 2022.

Errors in medication management and administration are major threats to patient safety. This piece explores issues with opioid and nursing-sensitive medication safety as well as medication safety in older adults. Future research directions in medication safety are also discussed.

Cohen M, Degnan D, McDonnell P, eds. Patient Saf. 2022;4(s1):1-45

Pharmacists play a unique role in patient safety that educational methods are shifting to address. This special issue covers several topics including strategies to reduce the susceptibility of hospitalized infants and children to medication errors, and infusing safety culture into pharmacy school curriculum.

Institute for Safe Medication Practices. Medication Safety Alerts. January 3, 2022.

Emerging care practices can produce unsafe situations due to the newness of the approaches involved. This alert highlights safety considerations with an oral antiretroviral COVID treatment that include medication administration problems. Safety recommendations are provided for prescribers and pharmacists.
Anand TV, Wallace BK, Chase HS. BMC Geriatr. 2021;21:648.
Older adults, particularly those taking more than one medication, are at increased risk of adverse drug events (ADE). In this study of 6,545 older adult patients who were prescribed at least 3 medications, multidrug interactions (MDI) were identified in 1.3% of medication lists. Psychotropic medications were the most commonly involved medication class; the most common serious ADE were serotonin syndrome, seizures, prolonged QT interval, and bleeding.

Uttaro E, Zhao F, Schweighardt A. Int J Pharm Compd. 2021;25(5):364-371. 

Medication administration, particularly when it involves drug formulation manipulation, is a complex process. This study analyzed the products included on the Institute for Safe Medication Practices’ (ISMP) ‘Do Not Crush List’ and found that many presented no risk or low risk for crushing. The authors provide recommendations for clinicians to aid in clinical decision-making regarding crushing, such as suitable personal protective equipment and prompt administration.
Pueyo-López C, Sánchez-Cuervo M, Vélez-Díaz-Pallarés M, et al. J Oncol Pharm Pract. 2021;27:1588-1595.
Researchers in this study used healthcare failure mode and effect analysis (HFMEA) to identify and reduce errors during chemotherapy preparation. Nine potential failure modes were identified – wrong label, drug, dose, solvent, or volume; non-sterile preparation; incomplete control; improper packaging or labeling, and; break or spill – and the potential causes and effects. Potential approaches to reduce these failure modes include updating the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), implementing a bar code system, and using a weight-based control system.
Schlichtig K, Dürr P, Dörje F, et al. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2021;110:1075-1086.
Building on prior research, this study found that medication errors are common in patients starting new oral anticancer therapy. Nearly two-thirds of these medication errors involved concomitantly administered medications (e.g., other prescribed drugs, over-the-counter medications).

Deprescribing is an intervention used to reduce the risk of adverse drug events (ADEs) that can result from polypharmacy. It is the process of supervised medication discontinuation or dose reduction to reduce potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) use.

Georgia Galanou Luchen, Pharm. D., is the Director of Member Relations at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). In this role, she leads initiatives related to community pharmacy practitioners and their impact throughout the care continuum. We spoke with her about different types of community pharmacists and the role they play in ensuring patient safety. 

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.
Huynh I, Rajendran T. BMJ Open Qual. 2021;10:e001363.
Unintentional therapeutic duplication can lead to life-threatening complications. As part of a quality improvement project on a surgical ward, staff were educated about the risks of therapeutic duplication and strategies to decrease it. After one month of education and reminders, the rate of therapeutic duplication decreased by more than half.

This commentary presents two cases highlighting common medication errors in retail pharmacy settings and discusses the importance of mandatory counseling for new medications, use of standardized error reporting processes, and the role of clinical decision support systems (CDSS) in medical decision-making and ensuring medication safety.

Allen LV, Jr. Int J Pharm Compd. 2021;25:131-139; 222-229.

Intravenous admixture compounding is a complex activity that harbors risks for patients and health care staff.  This two-part series reviews the types of errors that compromise the safety of compounding practices, steps in the process where they occur and prevention tactics.