Managing High-Risk Medications: Implementing Medication Management Standard 7.10

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Abstract

This continuing feature highlights the experiences of various health care organizations in implementing the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) Medication Management Standards and National Patient Safety Goals. Practical information on what worked and how organizations have been surveyed regarding the standards and goals will be provided along with updates on revisions and recommendations being established by JCAHO. To share your success stories, contact Sondra K. May, PharmD, Department of Pharmacy Services, University of Colorado Hospital, 4200 East Ninth Avenue, Box A-027, Denver, CO 80262. E-mail: sondra.may@uch.edu.

Abstract —

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) Medication Management Standards are guidelines for health care organizations to improve patient medication safety and quality of care. Medication Management Standard 7.10 states, “The hospital develops processes for managing high-risk or high-alert medications.” An institution's list of high-risk medications can be derived from published lists, retrospective review of hospital-specific incidents, and/or prospective evaluation as new drugs are added to the formulary. The hospital's policy will include the list of high-risk medications and the risk-reduction strategies that it is undertaking to reduce medication errors associated with them. One method of identifying risk-reduction strategies is to conduct a failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA). The process of conducting an FMEA is described and a list of risk-reduction strategies from two hospitals are provided.

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