News Release

Revised ISMP Antithombotic Medication Safety Self Assessment Available

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) has revised its self-assessment tool for antithrombotic therapy to update the document and include safety strategies for some of the newer oral anticoagulants. The revised self assessment also addresses current strategies for the use of antithrombotic agents, many of which are on ISMP’s list of high-alert medications.

The 2017 ISMP Medication Safety Self Assessment® for Antithrombotic Therapy is designed to help healthcare organizations evaluate their current systems related to the use of antithrombotic agents, proactively identify potential improvement areas, and track their efforts over time. An advisory panel of experts helped ISMP update items from the 2005 antithrombotic self assessment and develop strategies for the safe use of the new oral agents.

Since antithrombotic therapy involves practitioners from multiple disciplines and departments, ISMP recommends that healthcare organizations establish multidisciplinary teams to investigate and document the level of implementation of each self-assessment item, and then re-assess their use of antithrombotic agents with the tool on a regular basis.

The assessment covers key areas that significantly impact safe use of antithrombotics: 

  • Patient information 
  • Drug information 
  • Communication of drug orders and other drug information
  • Drug storage, stock, standardization, and distribution 
  • Medication device acquisition, use, and monitoring 
  • Competency and staff education 
  • Patient education 
  • Quality processes and risk management

Staff teams working on the self assessment for antithrombotic therapy can utilize an online form to record their responses. Information entered can be saved and returned to at a later time.

When the self assessment is completed, healthcare organizations can generate a report showing how they scored in each key area as a percentage of the maximum possible score. They can then use their scores and how they responded to each of the assessment items to identify and prioritize opportunities for improvement as part of their medication safety action plan.

Development of the 2017 ISMP Medication Safety Self Assessment® for Antithrombotic Therapy was supported by Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., CSL Behring, and Pfizer, Inc.


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