Non-acute settings with healthcare input and transcribing

Tracy Rogers, Director, Medicines Use & Safety, Medicines Use and Safety TeamPublished

Consideration needs to be given to the risk factors particularly associated with transcribing in non-acute settings with healthcare input

Risk factors

Factors will be considered in terms of those that confer risk, those that reduce risk and those factors that have the potential to influence risk either way, depending on other variables.

Examples of setting

Non-acute settings with healthcare input include:

  • Respite unit
  • Long stay nurse-led facility

Healthcare setting factors

Reducing risk

  • Patient has own labelled medicines which identifies medicines for the individual, and may reduce picking errors.

Personnel factors associated with setting

Conferring risk

  • May have limited medical input and limited access to medical notes which increases errors in transcribing.
  • May have little or no clinical pharmacy involvement.

Variable risk

  • Transcribing may be seen as an administrative task by registered staff.

Reducing risk

  • Registered staff should be familiar with medicines and indications.

Process factors associated with setting

Variable risk

  • Patient’s own labelled medicine provides a transcription of the prescription, but this might not reflect any recent changes or have adequate instructions for some medicines (e.g. insulin).

Reducing risk

  • Medicine administration record may be available from supplying pharmacy which is a repeat of information from labelled medicine.
  • Administration undertaken by registered staff who should act as layer of defence if error in transcribing.

Medicine factors associated with setting

Conferring risk

  • May have high risk medicines.
  • May have high risk administration methods.