COVID-19 Resources for Healthcare Providers

Ebola Resources for Healthcare Providers

Utah Department of Health Ebola Resource Page
CDC Ebola Resource Page

The Economic Impact of Rural Hospitals in Utah

Read the report here.

Utah's Mental Health Report

Read the report here.

The Med Card

The Med Card is a way for you to generate a list of medications to keep with you at all times. This single step is the most important thing you can do to help prevent medication errors.

  • The Med Card helps prevent problems with your medications. Be sure to write down all the medicines you take. This includes your prescription medicines as well as over the counter products (such as pain relievers, antacids, and antihistamines), herbal medicines, and supplements.
  • Complete the Med Card. Always keep this form with you. Be sure your family members have also completed a Med Card.
  • Have your healthcare provider review your Med Card with you at each visit. This includes your doctor, nurse, and pharmacist.
  • Ask questions! Discuss any questions you have about your medicines with your health care provider such as doctor, pharmacist, or nurse.

Before you leave your health care provider, be sure you understand the following information:

  • Why am I taking this medicine?
  • What is the dose?
  • How do I use this medicine?
  • How will I know if this medicine is working?
  • What kind of side effects can I expect?
  • What should I do if any adverse effects occur?

Using the Med Card helps prevents errors with your medicines.

  • Your health care providers can double check that you are receiving the right dose and check for drug interactions.
  • It is important for all health care professionals involved in your care to have a current list of your medicines.
  • The Med Card lists any allergies you may have. This helps to prevent you from receiving any of these medicines.
  • In an emergency, the information on your Med Card will help your care providers take care of you.
  • If you are in the hospital, the Med Card will help your care providers remember to give you all the medicines that you need.

Keep your Med Card Current! Review your Med Card monthly. Make any changes to be sure your card has the most current information. (Download this guide as a PDF.)

Med Card Formats

The Med Card comes in several formats to make it more convenient for you.

Single Med Card Wallet: Med Card that Folds into a convenient size to fit on your wallet.
Three-fold Med Card Wallet: Three printable Med Cards on a single sheet.
The MedCard Full Page: Larger version with more room for expanded medications list.
Daily Med Plan: This document gives you a place to write out your medications and your dosing schedule. You can print it out to use or save it on your computer to fill out.

Abbreviations and Sound Alike Look Alike Drugs (SALAD) & Drug Safety

Confusing product names, abbreviations, and dose expression are common causes of medication errors according to a review of a national medication error database. With over ten thousand brand and generic medication names currently on the market and more approved each year, it is easy to see the potential for error. Abbreviations of drug names or dosages exacerbate the problem. The Institue for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) maintains a list of potententially confusing drug names on its website.

Recommendations to Prevent Medication Errors

  • Avoid abbreviations, especially QD, QOD, MS, MgS04, MS04, U, or IU as these have lead to more significant errors. All abbreviations should be discouraged through education (physician, nurse, pharmacist and RT) and review of pre-printed orders and electronic systems. See list here.
  • No trailing zeros (1 not 1.0)
  • Use leading zeros with decimals (0.1 not .1)
  • Reduction of illegible handwriting through the use of electronic systems (CPOE, etc.) and pre-printed orders
  • Use of bar-coding technology in Ordering, Receiving, Restocking, Dispensing, Administration
  • Use of TALL man lettering which involves highlighting the differences in similar names (eg. EPINEPHrine and ePHEDrine or DOBUTamine and DOPamine) see lettering here.
  • Physically segregate SALAD products
  • Consider use of 'name alert' stickers on selected SALADs storage areasInclude the medication indication on orders.
  • Include generic and brand name on labels and computer systems.
  • When considering a new medication, dosage form, or concentration for use, physically review the product and consider the potential for look alike sound alike errors.
  • Consider double checks for selected high alert SALAD medications.
  • If a verbal or telephone orders can not be avoided then use a READ back procedure such as hear, write, read, and confirm.

Other Hospital Safety Documents & Initiatives

For other patient safety resources, see the resources below:

Transition of Care Document: LINC Form (Linking Information Necessary for Care)
HHS Radiation Event Medical Management Resource Page
Utah Crisis Standards of Care Burn Surge Plan Website