Accurate Weight Documentation: How To Adhere To Best Practices

  • Sonali Muzumdar

Abstract

Background: The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) has recommended that health systems implement preventive measures to decrease weight-based dosing errors.
Problem: Despite a process improvement project that was implemented to meet ISMP’s goals, weight documentation discrepancies continue to occur.
Methods: The weight documentation process was reviewed and safety gaps were identified. Pharmacists were notified when patients had greater than 15% weight documentation discrepancy. Notifications were tracked before, during, and after process improvements within the electronic health record (EHR).
Interventions: Streamlining of weight documentation fields within nursing assessments, locking of bed scales, setting an expiration date for the weight documentation field, including a minimum and maximum on height and weight fields, real-time alert for nursing staff upon documentation, and staff education were part of the process improvement plan.
Results: Average monthly weight documentation errors decreased from 115 to 60 per month over the process improvement period.
Conclusion: Human factor errors can result in weight documentation discrepancies despite implement-ing ISMP’s targeted safety goals around weight documentation. A real-time pharmacy notification of weight documentation discrepancies should be required for hospital pharmacists to prevent weight-based dosing errors.

Author Biography

Sonali Muzumdar

Sonali Muzumdar (smuzumdar@mercy-chicago.org) has been the clin-ical informatics pharmacist at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center in Chicago for more than 12 years, where she is a member of the Medication Safety Committee and has worked on improving the hospital’s weight documentation process.

References

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Results of Pediatric Medication Safety Survey (Part 2): Comparing Data Subsets Points Out Areas For Improvement. July 2015. Available at: https://www.ismp.org/resources/results-pediatric-medi-cation-safety-survey-part-2-comparing-data-sub-sets-points-out-areas. Accessed March 15, 2019.

Institute for Safe Medication Practices. 2018-2019 Targeted Medication Safety Best Practices for Hospitals. 2017. Available at: https://www.ismp.org/sites/default/files/attachments/2017-12/TMSBP-for-Hospitalsv2.pdf. Accessed January 19, 2019.

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Woman standing on scale measuring in kg.
Published
2020-03-17
How to Cite
Muzumdar, S. (2020). Accurate Weight Documentation: How To Adhere To Best Practices. Patient Safety , 2(1), 7. https://doi.org/10.33940/med/2020.3.1
Section
Original Research and Articles
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