Medication Safety Toolkit

Adverse events associated with medications pose a significant risk to patients. This toolkit is packed full of risk assessments, articles, guidelines and resources. These tools can help reduce the risk of adverse drug events, raise awareness of high-risk processes and medications, and help ensure the security of medications throughout the organization.

Reducing the Risk of Medication Errors

Focusing on the processes surrounding medication administration and identifying potential risks can reduce the risk of medication errors. These resources provide tips on how to reduce the risks.

  • Guidelines/Recommendations


    ASHP Guidelines on Preventing Medication Errors in Hospitals

    Medication errors can occur at any point in the medication delivery system. These guidelines provide the pharmacist with practical recommendations and best practices for preventing and mitigating patient harm from medication errors.

    TAGS: delivery, system, Preventing, mitigating, Patient, Harm

  • The Joint Commission Sentinel Alert #52

    The misuse of single and multi-dose vials has led to numerous adverse events related to the transmission of infections. This Sentinel Event Alert, published by The Joint Commission in 2014, spotlights the concerns related to the misuse of vials, outlining proper processes and procedures that can be implemented to reduce these risks.

    TAGS: misuse, Event, 2014, Reduce, Risk, outline, proper, Procedures, transmission, Infection

  • Guidelines/Recommendations


    Prevention of Medication Errors in the Pediatric Inpatient Setting

    This policy statement, developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, addresses medication errors in the pediatric population. The statement outlines safeguards that should be taken for pediatric patients, going above and beyond those for adults.

    TAGS: Policy, American, academy, safeguards, Patients, adults

Safe Medication Practices

It is important to provide safe medication practices in order to avoid mistakes and serious medication errors. The following resources provide tips for healthcare providers, patients and pharmacists.

  • Guidelines/Recommendations


    National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) for Anticoagulant Therapy

    National Patient Safety Goals represent best practices with various processes. This R3 Report from The Joint Commission gives detailed information on the NPSG for anticoagulant therapy that includes the requirement, the rationale for why the requirement was developed, and the reference.

    TAGS: Practices, R3, Joint, Commission, rationale, developed

  • Guidelines/Recommendations


    ISMP Safe Practice Guidelines for Adult IV Push Medication

    Although medication errors of any kind are dangerous, IV push medication administration can pose a significant risk to patients due to rapid bioavailability effects and a limited ability to reverse the medication’s impact. This is a comprehensive guide of safe practices compiled by the ISMP that can help reduce the risks to patients when administering medications via IV push.

    TAGS: significant, Risk, Patients, bioavailability, Medication, ISMP

  • Guidelines/Recommendations


    ISMP Guidelines for Optimizing Safe Subcutaneous Use of Insulin in Adults

    The goal of diabetes treatment is to manage hyperglycemia while preventing hypoglycemia. Subcutaneous administration of insulin is often used to manage patient glucose levels. However, insulin is a high-risk medication and care should be taken to prevent errors associated with its use. ISMP has developed these guidelines discussing the potential risks associated with insulin administration and safeguards that can be implemented to prevent errors.

    TAGS: insulin, diabetes, Medication, ISMP

Medication Safety Assessment

Proactively conducting assessments of medication safety practices is imperative for ensuring patient safety. These resources provide assessment tools for healthcare providers.

  • Assessment tools

    Assessment tools

    Medication Safety and Security Assessment

    A risk assessment to help evaluate medication safety practices throughout the hospital.

    TAGS: Evaluate, Practice, Hospital

  • Assessment tools

    Assessment tools

    Medication Safety Rounding

    A quick risk assessment tool perfect for unit-specific medication safety rounds. This tool enables the user to electronically send results to a unit manager where an action plan can be entered.

    TAGS: Tools, electronically, Action, plans

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Medication Safety Education

Education is crucial to ensure safe medication practices. The following resources provide patient and staff education materials.

  • Flyer/Sign/Poster


    Medication Safety Pamphlet

    The Medication Safety pamphlet is for you to provide to patients as a way to help them understand their medication plan. This allows the patient to stay involved and informed with their medical care. Included in each pamphlet is a Medication Tracker designed for easy access to their medication list and folds up for them to keep in their wallet at all times.

    If you would like copies of this publication mailed to you, please contact Lori Ray at 225.368.3801 or

    TAGS: Patient, understanding, Medication, Planning, informed, tracker, easy, access, list, wallets

  • Articles


    Medication Safety - Collaborative Healthcare Patient Safety Organization (CHPSO)

    CHPSO provides resources focusing on medication prescribing and administration.

    TAGS: CHPSO, Medication, Prescribing, Administration

  • Articles


    Medication Safety - Center for Patient Safety

    The Center for Patient Safety provides resources for patients to assist with talking to the doctor about their medications and keeping track of their current prescribed medications.