The old adage is that a picture is worth a thousand words. With that spirit in mind, I invite you to take a look at these pictures of “what not to do” when it comes to medication labeling and storage. As a pharmacist who talks to providers on a daily basis, I have seen and heard of many of the following examples. Have you? Send me an email with your thoughts (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Picture #1-Notice the storage bin is labeled atropine 1mg/mL but the vials are actually atropine 0.4mg/mL.
Picture #2- A sticker that you can write on is a much better plan than writing the drug name directly on the syringe. Regardless of the lack of aesthetics on this syringe, please also notice there is no concentration, time or date on the syringe below:
Picture #3-Multiple drugs and strengths are co-mingled in this tray
Picture #4- We have better ways to label!
Picture #5 – No identifying label.
Picture #6 – Keep Hemoccult away from Timpoptic
I want to emphasize that these pictures are not the norm at any of the facilities we have ever visited. JCB knows that a common goal that all health care providers share is the safe care of their patients. It is our hope that, by seeing these pictures, you are put in the mindset of thinking of ways to improve the safety in medication labeling and storage. Please send me examples of how you do things the right way. I will compile your submissions and then share these best practices in a future blog.
Many thanks to consultant pharmacist Sheldon Sones for these pictures-he calls these Never Ever pictures. Sheldon S. Sones, R.Ph. FASCP, is President of Sheldon S. Sones and Associates, a pharmacy and accreditation consulting firm based in Newington, Connecticut. Established in 1985, the group specializes in safe medication management and pharmacy consulting to free standing and hospital based ambulatory surgical, endoscopy, and renal dialysis centers with expertise in accreditation success. In addition, his service provides nationally recognized educational programs for medical and nursing staffs with a focus on safe medication strategies and quality measure and improvement opportunities. Visit his website at https://www.sheldonsones.com/home.html .