Insulin is among a group of high-alert medications that carry a heightened risk of serious patient harm if used in error, according to Interior Health. Technologies and practice changes designed to reduce risk of medication error are critical components of patient safety initiatives.
For working with several stakeholder groups across multiple sites to increase patient safety, Interior Health’s Insulin Safety Initiative was awarded the Gold Apple in the Collaborative Solutions category at the 2017 BC Health Care Awards.
Interior Health Authority’s ISI was a large collaborative, multi-stakeholder, multi-site project designed to mitigate serious medication errors involving insulin and to standardize practice in this area. A major component of the project was to implement a standardized pre-filled insulin pen delivery system to replace the traditional vial and syringe.
Although the pens offer several practical and safety advantages, they do carry unintended patient safety risks if used improperly. Interior Health implemented a number of safeguards and practice changes related to insulin ordering, dispensing, administration and documentation.
Interior Health’s post implementation evaluation indicates that these safety processes are well established in practice. The project serves as a model for inter-professional collaboration, effective knowledge translation and the adoption of system-wide best practices.
For more information on the BC Health Care Awards click here.