Medication safety is a critical aspect of patient care, and community pharmacies play a vital role in ensuring their patients receive their medications safely and effectively. To address the evolving challenges in this field, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) has recently updated its Targeted Medication Safety Best Practices for Community Pharmacy. These guidelines aim to provide community pharmacists with a framework to enhance patient safety and optimize medication-related processes. The expert advisory panel has provided the following key updates on the ISMP’s best practices and their significance in promoting safe medication use. Further detail regarding the practices and their rationale is available on the ISMP Website.
Best Practice 1:
Verify a patient’s identity using a standard protocol and at least two patient identifiers before receiving, filling, and delivering prescriptions, responding to patient-specific questions, providing filled prescriptions at the point-of-sale, or administering vaccines or treatments.
Best Practice 2:
During production, install and utilize barcode verification to scan every drug or vaccine package or container, including manufacturer cartons or bottles, used for prescription filling, ensuring accuracy and patient safety.
Best Practice 3:
Create and maintain proper protocols to provide proper education and prevent errors involving improper dosing of oral methotrexate.
Best Practice 4:
Standardize the use of milliliters (mL) for prescribing, dispensing, and measuring oral liquid medications.
Best Practice 5:
Seek and utilize information on medication safety risks and errors from external organizations, including affiliated pharmacies, to prevent similar errors and enhance patient safety.
As a PSAO dedicated to supporting community pharmacy, we want to make sure you are up to date on the latest information shared by these institutions. The ISMP’s updated Targeted Medication Safety Best Practices for Community Pharmacy serve as a valuable resource for enhancing patient safety in the community pharmacy setting. Implementing these recommendations will help community pharmacists mitigate risks, improve patient outcomes, and contribute to a safer healthcare system overall.