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Safety Strategies for Handling Sound-alike and Look-alike Meds (13.20)

Safety Strategies for Handling Sound-alike and Look-alike Meds (13.20) - Policies, Clinical, UWHC Clinical, Department Specific, Pharmacy, Drug Policy

13.20

POLICY & PROCEDURE





Effective Date:

January 2005
⌧Pharmacy Policy Manual
Chapter: Drug Policy
Operations Procedure Manual
Chapter:

Policy #: 13.20


… Original

⌧ Revision 10/12
Page 1
of 2
Title: Safety Strategies for Handling
Sound-alike and Look-alike
Medications


I. PURPOSE: To establish standard operating procedures for the prevention of errors involving
the interchange of sound-alike and look-alike medications and identify a minimum of 10 drug
combinations of sound-alike and look-alike medications.

II. POLICY: Strategies utilized to minimize confusion between sound-alike and/or look-alike
medications in all storage locations, information system labeling and smart infusion pumps are
used throughout the drug distribution system. These strategies will be reviewed on an annual
basis to determine their effectiveness in preventing mix-ups, which could lead to potentially
harmful medication errors.

III. PROCEDURES:
A. Follow procedures outlined in Pharmacy Policy #14.4 (AcuDose Rx) for guidelines on
stocking and restocking of sound-alike and look-alike medications in AcuDose cabinets.
B. Specific strategies for the sound-alike and look-alike medications shall be taken, as
outlined below.
1. Medication Storage Locations Outside of AcuDose, Including Pharmacy
Storage Areas:
a. Utilize tall-man lettering to differentiate names of sound-alike and look-
alike medications.
b. Use “look-alike/sound-alike drug” stickers.
2. Pharmacy Storage Areas:
a. Sound-alike and look-alike drug pairs will be physically segregated from
the other if both drugs are stored in the same pharmacy storage area.
b. This storage requirement does not apply to Robot-Rx offline inventory.
3. AcuDose Cabinets:
a. Utilize tall-man lettering on the AcuDose profile dispense screen to
differentiate names of sound-alike and look-alike medications.
b. Dosage forms that often have containers similar in appearance and should
not be stocked in the same matrix drawer whenever possible.
4. Pharmacy Information Systems:
a. Utilize tall-man lettering to differentiate names of sound-alike and look-
alike medications.

POLICY & PROCEDURE





Effective Date:

January 2005
⌧Pharmacy Policy Manual
Chapter: Drug Policy
Operations Procedure Manual
Chapter:

Policy #: 13.20


… Original

⌧ Revision 10/12
Page 1
of 2
Title: Safety Strategies for Handling
Sound-alike and Look-alike
Medications



5. Alaris “smart” IV Infusion Pumps:
a. Utilize tall-man lettering to differentiate names of sound-alike and look-
alike medications
6. Medications added to the formulary will be considered for lool- alike, sound-
alike consideration.
C. At least once a year, Appendix A of this policy will be reviewed and updated by the
Medication Safety Committee and action taken to prevent errors involving the
interchange of these drugs.


Approved By: ____________________________
Director of Pharmacy Services

Date:____________