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MEDICATION SAFETY: Look-Alike/Sound-Alike Drugs in Home Care

Friedman, Mary McGoldrick MS, RN, CRNI

Home Healthcare Nurse: The Journal for the Home Care and Hospice Professional: April 2005 - Volume 23 - Issue 4 - p 243-253

A new Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) for 2005 is related to look-alike/sound-alike medications. This article reviews this new goal and what actions home care and hospice organizations need to undertake to meet the intent of this new requirement and provides insightful home care and hospice adaptations to the NPSG’s general goals. Even if an agency is not Joint Commission–accredited, this information should be integrated into policies, procedures, and clinician education to avoid dangerous and costly medication errors.

Mary McGoldrick Friedman, MS, RN, CRNI, is a Home Care and Hospice Consultant for Home Health Systems, Inc. Address for correspondence: Mary Mc-Goldrick Friedman, MS, RN, CRNI, 4857 Township Trace, Marietta, GA 30066 (telephone: 770-650-7414; e-mail:

The author of this article has no significant ties, financial or otherwise, to any company that might have an interest in the publication of this educational activity.

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.