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Cases & Commentaries
- Web M&M
Timothy S. Lesar, PharmD; November 2003
An unclear verbal order leads to administration of the wrong drug.
Journal Article > Commentary
Cohen MR, Smetzer JL. Hosp Pharm. 2010;45:191-195.
This monthly column highlights an initiative to introduce safer device connectors to prevent spinal and epidural medications from being delivered intravenously, discusses the value of independent double-checks, and shares thoughts on the 35th anniversary of this column.
Journal Article > Study
Wakefield DS, Wakefield BJ, Despins L, et al. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2012;38:24-33.
Verbal orders, usually for medications, are commonly used in the inpatient setting despite being a recognized source of error. This survey of 40 hospitals found wide variation in hospital policies regarding verbal orders, with no uniform standard on which providers were allowed to give or receive verbal orders and varying approaches to documenting these orders. Although specific methods, such as read-backs, are endorsed for improving the reliability of verbal orders, few hospitals specifically mandated the use of these communication tools. A case of a misunderstood verbal order that led to a serious error is discussed in this AHRQ WebM&M commentary.