November 6, 2014

We are excited to announce that the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS), along with College of Pharmacy faculty members and Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA) leaders, were selected to receive the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) Cheers Award.

“This was an important opportunity for the U-M College of Pharmacy and UMHS to partner with the Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA) to lead a state-wide effort to improve medication safety. It was gratifying to see the level of support from pharmacists, physicians, other providers, and health care administrators for this project,” states Jim Stevenson, PharmD, FASHP, Professor in the College of Pharmacy and the President of Visante, Inc.

Their submission on the “Variability in Compounding of Oral Liquids for Pediatric Patients: A Patient Safety Concern” addresses an important patient safety problem impacting pediatric patients. Due to the lack of standard concentration in compounding practices, serious errors can occur – especially at the transitions of care.

“Families and prescribers don’t realize that differences in formulations being compounded can lead to large variation in the concentration being provided. For example, a parent may have been taught in the hospital that they are to administer 3 ml of an oral liquid for their child. However, when they are discharged from the hospital, the community pharmacy that provides the compounded solution may use a different formulation with a concentration that may be many-fold different. When this is not realized and the parent continues to administer a 3 ml dose to their child, a serious dosing error occurs,” adds Dr. Stevenson.             

“The state-wide cooperative effort resulted in a solution to a serious patient safety threat that prescribers, parents, and families have had to deal with for years,” states Larry Wagenknecht, Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA).  “The establishment of standardized formulations that resulted from this project will assist in eliminating a lot of the confusion that parents and caregivers have when giving medications to their children and will likely save the life of at least one child in the future.”

The award will be presented at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Meeting in December.

Congratulations on this outstanding accomplishment!

Read ASHP’s press release
Read UMHS article.