High-Alert Medications in Community/Ambulatory Care Settings
High-alert medications are drugs that bear a heightened risk of causing significant patient harm when they are used in error. Although mistakes may or may not be more common with these drugs, the consequences of an error are clearly more devastating to patients.
Use ISMP's List of High-Alert Medications in Community/Ambulatory Care Settings to determine which medications in your practice site require special safeguards to reduce the risk of errors and minimize harm. Strategies may include:
Standardizing the prescribing, storage, preparation, dispensing, and administration of these medications
Improving access to information about these drugs
Using auxiliary labels and automated alerts
Providing mandatory patient education
Ambulatory care sites such as long-term care facilities, long-term acute care facilities, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, and the pharmacies that provide services to them should also reference the ISMP List of High-Alert Medications in Long-Term Care (LTC) Settings and/or the ISMP List of High-Alert Medications in Acute Care Settings.