Guidelines for Safe Electronic Communication of Medication Information

Electronic health records (EHRs), electronic prescribing (e-prescribing), and other health information technology (HIT)-related tools are a mainstay in healthcare, and their introduction has brought about significant changes in how medications are prescribed, dispensed, and administered. If the conventions used to communicate medication information electronically are not carefully considered, these technologies may contribute to medication errors rather than mitigate risks.

To address this concern, ISMP has developed the ISMP Guidelines for Safe Electronic Communication of Medication Information, with input from clinicians; government and standards-setting agencies; professional organizations; and electronic pharmacy information, health information, and prescribing system vendors. The scope of the guidelines is narrow and covers only issues that deal with how information about medications is communicated in electronic formats, including EHRs, pharmacy computer systems, e-prescribing systems, and other displays of electronic health information when using medication administration records, barcode scanning systems, smart infusion pumps, and automated dispensing cabinets. The guidelines recommend strategies to present drug information safely in various electronic formats and suggests specific HIT-associated design features intended to mitigate the risk of medication errors. 

How to cite: Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP). ISMP Guidelines for Safe Electronic Communication of Medication Information. ISMP; 2019.

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