Medication incidents involving insulin: A multi-incident analysis
Canadian Pharmacists Conference ePoster Library. Ho C. Jun 25, 2016; 132146
Dr. Certina Ho
Dr. Certina Ho
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Abstract
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OBJECTIVES: Insulin is a life-saving pharmacological therapy for many diabetic patients. However, insulin has been identified as a high alert medication as it has the potential to cause detrimental patient harm when used in error; particularly an excessive dose can lead to life-threatening hypoglycemia. The objective of this multi-incident analysis was to examine insulin-related medication incidents and determine potential system-based improvements that may be customized in pharmacy practice to enhance medication safety.,METHODS: Reports of medication incidents involving insulin were extracted from a national incident reporting database between January and December 2014. After a review of 226 incidents, 81 were included in this qualitative, multi-incident analysis. The incidents were then analyzed and categorized into main themes and subthemes.,RESULTS: The four main themes identified were: (1) product selection (related to unique insulin properties), with prescribing, order entry and dispensing as subthemes; (2) therapeutic regimen change; (3) dosage calculations; and (4) storage requirements. Potential solutions for prevention of insulin-related incidents included the use of standardized pre-printed order forms, integrating warning flags into pharmacy software, incorporation of independent double checks throughout the entire pharmacy workflow, and conducting comprehensive diabetes-focused medication reviews with patients.,CONCLUSIONS: Medication incidents involving insulin in pharmacy practice are common and have the potential to cause serious patient harm. Findings from this analysis are intended to educate health care professionals on the vulnerabilities in the medication-use process that may contribute to insulin-specific medication incidents and offer recommendations to prevent such events from recurring.
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