Medication Errors
Michael R. Cohen ScD, MS, RPH

March 2011 
Volume 41  Number 3
Pages 13 - 13
  PDF Version Available!

Is conventional or military time safer to use in healthcare? The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) suggests using military time because it's easier to precisely designate midnight. In written or electronically communicated prescriptions, the designation of midnight can be confusing. For example, a prescription to "start dose at midnight 4/22" could be interpreted as either at the beginning of the day on 4/22 or at the end of the day on 4/22.Healthcare providers also can confuse 12 p.m. (noon) with 12 a.m. (midnight). Avoiding midnight dosing is another way around this problem-for drugs that need to be given every 6 hours, for example, prescribers could specify 10-4-10-4 dosing (or 1000, 1600, 2200, 0400 in military time). Facilities should decide what's right for them, standardize how time is expressed, and make staff aware of the policy.Lab changes in the way serum creatinine is measured could affect dosing of carboplatin, an antineoplastic drug. All clinical labs in the

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