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SDS Accreditation Update: Joint Commission releases look-alike/sound-alike list
Drugs must be added to lists for safety goals
Same-day surgery programs and office-based surgery programs must choose at least 10 of the look-alike and sound-alike drug names to place on their watch list of medications that can be easily confused to meet the 2005 national patient safety goal that focuses upon reducing medication errors.
The recently released list from the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations identifies the medications in two tables that address different types of organizations.
Along with the list of names, the Joint Commission lists recommendations for prevention of mix-ups.
Recommendations differ for various medication names but include suggestions such as using brand names rather than generic names, educating staff members, including purpose of medication in order, because many look-alike, sound-alike medications are used for different purposes, and accept verbal or telephone orders only when necessary.
(Editor’s note: To see a complete list of the medication names and recommendations to avoid confusion, go to www.jcaho.org. Under "Headline News" and "2005 National Patient Safety Goals Released" on the right navigational bar, choose "see look-alike, sound-alike drug list.")