August 31, 2017
Health Care Provider Groups Collaborate to Standardize Medication Concentrations
ASA is pleased to share the Standardize 4 Safety Initiative (S4S), the first national, interprofessional effort to standardize medication concentrations in order to reduce errors and improve transitions of care.
ASA physician anesthesiologist members, worked with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) as well as participants from the hospital, pharmacist and nurse sector, on this effort to create, test, publicize, and support the adoption of national standardized medication concentrations.
The S4S Initiative is made possible by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Safe Use Initiative. ASHP received a three-year contract to develop and implement national standardized concentrations for intravenous (IV) and oral liquid medications. At this time, there are no regulatory requirements around the proposed standards but the list of drugs has been approved by the FDA. The standards will ultimately address:
• Concentrations and dosing units for intravenous continuous medications for adult patients.
• Concentrations for compounded oral liquid medications.
• Concentrations and dosing units for intravenous continuous medications for pediatric patients.
• Doses for oral liquid medications.
• Concentrations for intravenous intermittent medications.
• Concentrations for PCA and epidural medications.
Adoption of these recommendations by hospitals is completely voluntary. Additionally, as part of the S4S Initiative, ASHP is looking for stakeholder feedback. There are draft documents available on their website including:
• Proposed Standard Concentrations – Adult Continuous Infusion
• Guiding principles, decision matrix, and other considerations
Efforts to standardize medication concentrations is important to improving medication errors and addressing shortages. ASA commends the efforts of ASHP and other stakeholders and looks forward to continued work in this are in the future.