Influencing Regulatory Changes
Kudos to ISMP for raising this issue, soliciting input from the nursing workforce, and taking action with CMS to effect change that will improve patient safety. Its draft guidelines for timely drug administration are circulating with the help of nursing organizations; they appear on the website of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Patient Safety Network. (For the full text, visit http://www.psnet.ahrq.gov/resource.aspx?resourceID=19185.)
The ISMP guidelines offer greater flexibility in the timing of medication administration for non-time-critical medications. They suggest 2 hours for medications scheduled for daily, weekly, or monthly intervals and 1 hour for those scheduled more frequently than daily but no more often than every 4 hours. They propose additional guidance on more frequent dosing and suggest hospitals develop house-wide and unit-specific requirements for time-critical scheduled medications as well as first doses and loading doses. It's not too late to add your comments on this important issue. You can send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org until February 15, 2011.
This is truly about control of nursing practice. Let's lend our voices to help ISMP advocate for changes that are meaningful to patients and nurses.