Reference materials can be very helpful to clinical staff who order or administer medications. Information about dosages, side effects, and drug interactions are just a few examples of the information that needs to be verified before medications are ordered or administered. Memory can be unreliable, especially when staff are busy or distracted. Ensure that reference materials are readily available and easily accessible in all patient care areas to increase the likelihood they will be used.
- Ensure the medication reference materials are current and updated regularly.
- Include reference materials in all areas where medications may be administered, not just in inpatient care units.
- Provide multiple copies of reference materials for large patient care units so staff does not need to go to central stations to use them.
- Use electronic devices, such as computerized reference manuals and portable devices, to make the information more easily accessible.