MEDICATION ERRORS: Spreading the word about prohibited abbreviations

October 2004 
Volume 34  Number 10
Pages 14 - 14
  PDF Version Available!


  • Where and how to post the abbreviations

  • How to foster compliance

    When the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations asked facilities how they spread the word about abbreviations prohibited in its 2004 National Patient Safety Goals, more than 100 responded with tips that work for them. Here are a few.

    Where and how to post the abbreviations

    * on brightly colored paper, sticky notes, posters, or magnets for placement in patient charts, on or near computers, and in patient-care areas

    * on cards the staff can attach to the back of an ID badge or carry in a pocket

    * in the margins of prescriber order sheets and progress notes

    * on tent cards placed where prescribers write orders and dictate

    * laminated to the prescriber order divider in the chart

    * on the chart cover

    * on the home page of the facility's intranet

    * on pens or mouse pads

    * ...

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