List of Error-Prone Abbreviations
The ISMP List of Error-Prone Abbreviations, Symbols, and Dose Designations contains abbreviations, symbols, and dose designations which have been reported through the ISMP National Medication Errors Reporting Program (ISMP MERP) and have been misinterpreted and involved in harmful or potentially harmful medication errors. These abbreviations, symbols, and dose designations should NEVER be used when communicating medical information verbally, electronically, and/or in handwritten applications. This includes internal communications; verbal, handwritten, or electronic prescriptions; handwritten and computer-generated medication labels; drug storage bin labels; medication administration records; and screens associated with pharmacy and prescriber computer order entry systems, automated dispensing cabinets, smart infusion pumps, and other medication-related technologies.
In the Table, error-prone abbreviations, symbols, and dose designations that are included on The Joint Commission’s “Do Not Use” list (Information Management standard IM.02.02.01) are identified with a double asterisk (**) and must be included on an organization’s “Do Not Use” list. Error-prone abbreviations, symbols, and dose designations that are relevant mostly in handwritten communications of medication information are highlighted with a dagger (†).
How to cite: Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP). ISMP List of Error-Prone Abbreviations, Symbols, and Dose Designations. ISMP; 2021.
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