Medication safety can be dramatically improved through enhanced communication among caregivers. This includes improved communication with families as well as improved communication among caregivers during transitions and from shift to shift.
Make parents a part of the care team and remember that parents know their child better than anyone. Their observations, assessments, and feedback must also be taken into account. If a parent questions a medication or dose, double-check it. Studies have shown that in these instances, the parent is often right and is an important link in patient safety.
The shift-to-shift report should include a review of all medications, including scheduled, PRN, and continuous infusions. Take advantage of having two people present to double-check medication schedules as well as all continuous fluid orders, pump rates, and any titration plans.
—Jill Duncan, RN, MS, MPH