The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) announced the launch of “Standardize 4 Safety,” an interprofessional initiative intended to create and promote national standard concentrations for intravenous (IV) and oral liquid medications. 

This 3-year multi-phase initiative aims to reduce IV and oral liquid medication errors and improve the continuity of medication therapy through transitions of care. The official launch is marked by the release of the “Standardize 4 Safety” initiative information, which includes the first draft of the IV adult continuous proposed concentration. The 3 phases include:

    — Phase I addresses concentrations and dosing units for adult continuous infusions and compounded oral liquids; 

    — Phase II addresses concentrations and dosing units for pediatric continuous infusions and standard doses of oral liquid medications; and 

    — Phase III addresses IV intermittent medications, patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pumps, epidurals, and standard doses of oral chemotherapy agents.

Paul W. Abramowitz, PharmD, ScD (Hon), FASHP, ASHP CEO, noted, “Standardize 4 Safety combines the expertise of pharmacists with that of other healthcare professionals to significantly reduce medication errors and harm.” 

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“Standardize 4 Safety” is funded through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Safe Use Initiative, which seeks to reduce preventable harm from medications by creating and facilitating public and private collaborations with the healthcare community. An expert panel comprised of pharmacists, physicians, nurses, and other health professionals were involved in concentration selection. 

ASHP is open to comments and discussion regarding the initial draft of proposed standard concentrations for adult continuous infusions. The first compounded oral liquid draft is expected to be posted by June 30, 2016. 

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