What was done?:
We have developed a series of metrics to measure compliance with national guidance for the safe use of injectable medicines. The guidance recommends use of ready-to-use (RTU) or ready-to-administer (RTA) injectable products, where these are available, to reduce the risk of patient harm from errors in the preparation of injections and infusions on hospital wards.
Why was it done?:
Despite the availability of RTU and RTA formulations of high-risk injectable medicines they were not always used. We developed the metric, to compare the use of RTU and RTA injectable medicines with the use of concentrates requiring further dilution or manipulation prior to administration e.g. dilution of morphine 10 mg/ml to 10 mg/10 ml prior to intravenous administration, e.g. withdrawal of 5 x 10 ml fentanyl 500 mcg/10 ml into a 50 ml syringe for continuous infusion, and identify areas for improvement.
How was it done?:
The metric utilises pharmacy-issue data to compare the number of units of RTU or RTA formulations issued to wards and clinical areas with the numbers of units of alternative products of the same drug entity. Expressed as a percentage the metric informs the organisation of the extent to which safer injectable medicines are being used, providing a baseline against which to review practice and reinforce the need to use alternative, safer formulations. A high percentage indicates good compliance.
What has been achieved?:
The metrics have been used to successfully maximise the use of a range of safer formulations including RTA potassium chloride, RTU fentanyl 2500 mcg/50 ml vials for critical care infusion, 100 mg/10 ml paracetamol in neonatal units and RTU magnesium sulphate 20% (50 ml vials) for obstetric emergencies. Since the introduction of the metrics in 2016 a monthly scorecard of performance is reviewed by the Hospital Medication Safety Committee to identify and account for deviations.
The metrics are being shared with other organisations to benchmark performance. Ideas to promote implementation and business cases can be shared between organisations who may find implementing RTA and RTU injectable medicines challenging, especially where these are more expensive than formulations in established use.
- Drug administration›Ready to use
- Hospital setting›Secondary care
- Patient safety›Error-avoiding strategies
Conflict of interest:
I have potential conflict of interest to disclose *
I have received an honorarium from hameln pharmaceuticals to present a case for using ready-to-use fentanyl 2500mcg/50ml infusions in critical care units. hameln are currently the only licensed manufacturer of this product.
- Healthcare Professionals - Doctors
- Healthcare Professionals - Nurses
- Others Healthcare Professionals
- Hospital Managers
- Hospital Pharmacists
PROMOTING THE USE OF SAFER INJECTABLE MEDICINES USING A NOVEL METRIC