do not abbreviate list

  1. We are a TDS medical applications shop. The do not abbreviate list gives us guidelines on what not to use. I personally have problems with updating our application for numbers. There are to be no 0s after a straight: 1; 1.0 would go to 1 . When physicians write 1.0 some people are seeing 10. They totally miss the ".". I see this as being a hand written problem, not a computer applications printout problem. Every computer report I've seen has been very clear.

    Does anyone have thought or ideas about this problem ?
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   moonshadeau
    Trailing zeros are never good and really what purpose do they serve. They can create more med errors than prevent them. Human error can see the 1.0 but the mind may see 10 if they aren't looking, handwritten or computer written.
  4. by   NRSKarenRN
    Check out Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP)
    http://www.ismp.org/Pages/ismp_faq.html#Question%202
  5. by   atownsendrn
    We implicated the no trailing zero and yes to the leading zero about 6 months ago. was hard for some. As far as the computer application of it - they are probably just trying to make it standard everywhere - whether computer printout or hand written. Think these safety standard rules are crazy - have you seen the list of "dangerous" drug abbrevations???
  6. by   oneLoneNurse
    Don't know for sure but maybe they use the term "LEGAL Heroin" because Oxycontin is a legitimate drug that can be obtained legally if you need it and it is prescribed by a doc. with Rx. Whereas, typical street heroin is mixed up by someone on the street.

    Like I said, don't know for sure, I have never heard the term "Legal Heroin" and certainly have never heard the term "legal" used when describing/discussing anyone that has an addiction to a substance.

    I think that term is mis-leading and does not illude to the seriousness of an addiction to oxycontin, or any drug for that matter.

    The police certainly won't consider it "legal" to use it if you do not have a prescription for it and abuse it.

    It's funny you brought this up because my nursing instructor was discussing just last night, patients that she has seen come in with raging infections and huge swelling near their veins/inject. sites because of crushing oxycontin and injecting it. She also said her husband who is a pharmacist, one day had a person come in with a prescription that was originally written by the doctor for (15) oxycontin pills, and they had changed it to (150) by adding a zero at the end.

    I took this from another thread. I am concerned about the "." and the subsequent "0" being taken off. Patients cannot add a digit to "1.0" and have a meaningful number, but if they add a "0" to 1 then they have 9 more pills than were ordered.
  7. by   colleen10
    I wanted to add my input because I am currently a nursing student (that also wrote the above referenced message in One Lone Nurse's response) and I am also currently in a drug calc. course.

    We are taught in our course that when writing out med. dosages, etc. if you are dealing with a whole number you should never write out the zeros.

    ie. five mg is written as 5 mg, NOT 5.0 mg.


    When dealing with fractions of numbers you should keep zeros.

    ie. 1/2 mg is 0.5 mg, NOT .5 mg


    Our instructor indicated that we are to always write out dosages in this manner because, as stated above, keeping zeros/deleting zeros when not needed leads to more errors.

    Also, in reference to One Lone Nurse's message where I talk about my instructor's husband, the pharmacist, with the prescription for 150 pills of Oxycontin, our instructor told us that story while explaining the importance of writing out med. orders and prescriptions (especially for narcotics) in a manner that would make it harder for someone to play around with the numbers.

    ie. narcotics should be written fifteen pills would be
    15 Tablets (fifteen) Oxycontin

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