ISMP updates list of error-prone medical abbreviations

On April 17, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices added more recommendations to its list of medical abbreviations that should never be used. 

The organization's List of Error-Prone Abbreviations, Symbols and Dose Designations contains examples of misinterpretations that have or could have caused a medication error. 

The update includes these five additions:

  • When a dose is being measured in nanograms, do not use "nanog" as an abbreviation.

  • For intranasal medications, do not use "NAS" as an abbreviation. 

  • When a medication is intended to be used nightly at bedtime, do not use "nightly" or "HS" to mean at bedtime. Use QHS or qhs instead.

  • When indicating a half tablet, do not use reduced font-size fractions. Use text instead and avoid using fractions or decimals.

  • If a slash mark is needed to separate doses, do not use "per." Use "and" instead.

"These abbreviations, symbols and dose designations should NEVER be used when communicating medical information verbally, electronically, and/or in handwritten applications," the ISMP said in an emailed news release.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars