Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) and High-alert Medications (Nursing)

by Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

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    00:01 Hi, welcome to our video series.

    00:03 I wanna introduce you to the ISMP.

    00:06 This is a group of medications that have risk for adverse effects so they have high risk for our patients.

    00:13 So that's why we've titled this ISMP high risk medications.

    00:18 Let me clarify. Okay, so who is the ISMP? Well, ISMP stands for Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

    00:28 Now, this is an independent watchdog organization so they're separate from physicians, nurses, other health care providers.

    00:36 Their only job is to make sure that our patients are safe.

    00:41 So they want -- in regards to safe medication practices, these are some of the things they do.

    00:47 They don't take any money from advertisers so they can stay independent and objective.

    00:53 So they depend entirely on charitable donations, educational grants, newsletter subscriptions, and volunteer efforts because their work, as they describe it, is life-saving.

    01:05 That's the goal. To keep us aware and alert to issues with medication.

    01:10 So what are high-alert medications? Well, here's the official definition from them.

    01:15 High-alert medications are drugs that have been identified as having a higher risk of significant patient harm if they're used in error.

    01:24 So they're great drugs when used in the appropriate manner that can be really beneficial to patients but if they're used in error, it could cause significant patient harm.

    01:35 So although mistakes may or may not be more common with these drugs, the potential consequences of an error are clearly more devastating than other medications.

    01:44 So the purpose of the list is to help you and I. We're on the health care team.

    01:49 So they're trying to help us determine which medications require special safeguards to reduce the risk of errors.

    01:57 So these are actually really helpful.

    02:00 This will benefit us by knowing it's just an extra safeguard for us to be aware.

    02:04 Hey, look, this medication has potential serious risks for patients so I'm gonna use extra safeguards to make sure I'm safe in administering those.

    02:14 So when you ask what is the ISMP list? That's what it is. It's created periodically with updates.

    02:21 It gives you a list of potential high-alert medications based on data that they've collected from multiple sources.

    02:28 So that's what the list is.

    02:30 Now, I'm gonna give you a website on where the latest version is that so you can check it out on your own.

    02:35 But here's kind of the process of how they develop this list.

    02:38 There's specific classes or categories of specific medications.

    02:42 So how do they win this award? How the medications make it to the list? Well, they look at error reports that are submitted to the ISMP.

    02:51 It's called the National Medication Errors Reporting Program.

    02:55 So a medication error happens somewhere in the health care system, it can be reported to this agency. Now, we can also review literature.

    03:03 So any studies and research studies that are out there that would give information that would have a drug make the list.

    03:10 And lastly, they take straight up input from people like us, practitioners and safety experts, on what could be a potential risk.

    03:19 So 3 main sources: error reports that are submitted to the ISMP, what's out there in the literature, and input from people that are actually delivering health care and safety experts.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) and High-alert Medications (Nursing) by Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN is from the course Medication Safety (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Drugs that can cause significant harm when they are used in error
    2. Drugs that cause significant adverse reactions even when given correctly
    3. Drugs that can cause significant harm in pregnant women
    4. Drugs that are at high risk for reacting with other drugs
    1. A study from a published article
    2. An error report about a client who received the wrong dose of insulin submitted to the ISMP
    3. A safety expert reporting the adverse effects of insulin administration
    4. A formal complaint from a client about the expense of insulin
    5. A nurse report about the inefficiency of administering subcutaneous insulin

    Author of lecture Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) and High-alert Medications (Nursing)

     Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

    Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

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