|Title:||National Standard for User-Applied Labelling of Injectable Medicines, Fluids and Lines|
|Document ID:||Operational Directive OD 0647/16|
|Date of issue:||Wednesday, 13 January 2016|
|Description:||The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare has released the National Standard for User-applied Labelling of Injectable Medicines, Fluids and Lines (the Labelling Standard) in September 2015.|
|Applicable to:||WA Public Hospitals|
|Framework:||Clinical Governance, Safety and Quality Policy Framework|
|Period of effect:||from 1 January 2016 to 1 January 2019|
|Review date:||1 January 2019|
|Authorised by:||Dr David Russell-Weisz, Director General, Department of Health WA, 18-Dec-2015|
|Print version:||View print version|
National Standard for User-Applied Labelling of Injectable Medicines, Fluids and Lines
AMENDMENT TO OD0647/16: Change to compliance date.
Hospitals are required to comply with the National Standard for User-Applied Labelling of Injectable Medicines, Fluids and Lines (including the WA modification identified in this Operational Directive) by October 31, 2016.
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare has released the National Standard for User-applied Labelling of Injectable Medicines, Fluids and Lines (the Labelling Standard) in September 2015.
The Labelling Standard expands on the Labelling Recommendations (OD 0385/12) to include:
WA modification to the label stippling of beige, blue and red labels addresses an identified safety issue with readability, and as such this modification remains a part of the WA Operational Directive.
Hospitals are required to comply with the Labelling Standard (including the WA modification identified in this Operational Directive) by March 31, 2016.
Labelling is a recognised risk in the safe administration of injectable medicines. Preparation of injectable medicines for bolus injection or infusion is complicated with multiple opportunities for error. Labelling of injectable medicines is often not done or incomplete, omitting information such as name of medicine, dose, patient name or time of preparation1.
It has been shown that errors in injectable medicine administration are less likely to occur when a single person is responsible for preparing and labelling each injectable medicine, and that medicines in well labelled syringes are more likely to have been prepared correctly1.
THE LABELLING STANDARD
This National Standard for User-applied Labelling of Injectable Medicines, Fluids and Lines (the Labelling Standard) has been developed as a national solution to the risks posed by erroneous administration of injectable medicines. It replaces the 2012 National Recommendations for User-applied Labelling of Injectable Medicines, Fluids and Lines (the Labelling Recommendations) which were developed by the ACSQHC to (a) assist health care professionals to identify the correct medicine and/or fluid and its correct administration route/conduit at all times, and (b) set out requirements for label inclusions and label placement.
Adherence to the Labelling Standard will minimise preventable medication administration errors (such as wrong route, wrong medicine, wrong dose and wrong patient) and improve safe medicine use.
The Labelling Standard is based on the following practice principles:
ACCESSING THE LABELLING STANDARD
The Labelling Standard is attached and can be accessed at:
A range of support materials, resources and tools to assist in implementation of the Labelling Standard have been developed, including:
The recommended labels can be accessed in EPS (for professional printing) format here:
WA health services and hospitals must follow these specifications, including WA modifications identified below, and advise their printing services accordingly.
WESTERN AUSTRALIAN MODIFICATION TO THE LABELLING STANDARD
Stippling to Beige, Blue and Red Labels
The Labelling Standard specifies a 70% stipple (70% shade of the labels primary colour) to the background of container, conduit and line labels.
Following feedback regarding the legibility of written information on certain coloured labels, beige (subcutaneous), red (intra-arterial) and blue (intravenous) container, conduit and line labels used in Western Australia will employ a stipple of 50% to the background area (the area inside the border) of the label. Border colours must not be altered from those specified in the Labelling Standard.
AUDIT AND EVALUATION
It is highly recommended that compliance with the Labelling Standard be audited, including pre- and post-implementation audits. To assist health services and clinical teams the following resources are attached:
1. Sample audit tools. Sites are encouraged to adapt the tool to suit their local requirements.
2. Suggested content for a staff survey on adherence to labelling protocols, and awareness, implementation and adherence to the Labelling Standard. This survey can be carried out using tools such as Survey Monkey (www.surveymonkey.com).
The Quality Improvement and Change Management Unit will maintain an issues register regarding the Labelling Standard.
These may be notified via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care National Standard for User-applied Labelling of Injectable Medicines, Fluids and Lines.
Dr David Russell-Weisz
This circular last updated: Wednesday, 14 September 2016 at 1:46pm