1. Tuohy, Nancy R. MSN, RN

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The use of the abbreviation "QD" in "Hypokalemia" (Emergency, November 2004) surprised and disappointed me. This abbreviation for "daily" is one of those that the Joint Commission on Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) prohibited for use by accredited organizations as of January 1, 2004 (for the complete list, see As of April 1, 2004, JCAHO required each organization to add at least three other dangerous abbreviations to its list of prohibited abbreviations.


If editors and authors don't follow suit, the momentum for change will be lost and patient safety will suffer. The habit will not be broken unless these dangerous medical abbreviations are no longer used in all publications, reference books, textbooks, and computerized order entry systems.


The Institute for Safe Medication Practices has compiled its own list of dangerous abbreviations (see


Editor's note: AJN has committed to following the do-not-use list of abbreviations recommended by JCAHO beginning with this issue; see Editorial, page 11. Also, see Practice Errors, "What's Wrong with U?" June 2004.


Nancy R. Tuohy, MSN, RN


Huntington Valley, PA