Blog

I’ve been thinking...

Florence
Lady of the Lamp. Coalition on a Mission.

I’ve been thinking about Florence, pledges, harm, and help.

In 1893, nursing pioneer, Lystra Gretter, passed on the light from “The Lady of the Lamp” in penning the Florence Nightingale Nurse’s Pledge. Reminiscent of the Hippocratic Oath, the pledge included a commitment: “I shall not knowingly administer any harmful drug.”

While nursing is so much more than administering medications, it is certainly not less. There isn’t an RN who knowingly administers a drug that causes harm.  

And yet, no matter how committed and conscientious they may be, nurses are dependent on physicians ordering safe drugs, pharmacists reviewing and approving physicians’ orders, and technicians preparing the drugs in compliance with said orders.

Most IV errors are made during the review and preparation processes, which are not detectable by nurses when they arrive at the point of infusion. Nurses must trust that the IVs they receive and push into their patients have been accurately prepared—containing the right concentrations and volumes of the right ingredients.

More than a few nurses have administered harmful drugs, not because of their negligence but because of undetected errors that were made upstream.

The THRIV Coalition honors nurses who faithfully fulfill their high and holy calling. We also remain committed to helping men and women of the lamp fulfill the no-harm oath by promoting the use of IV Workflow Management Systems in the pharmacies that serve them. We are fully bent on helping pharmacists and technicians get IVs right by pressing for the universal adoption and faithful utilization of compounding technologies proven to protect patients from being harmed and caregivers from unwittingly doing harm.

To this end, we hope you will join the THRIV Coalition and sign on as Champion for IV accuracy. All are welcome. Pharmacists. Technicians. Nurses. Physicians, Consumers. Consultants. Technology developers. Whatever you do. All it will cost is the few minutes it takes to add your name here.

If Florence or Lystra were still around, we’d invite them to join us in advocating for IV Accuracy. I’d bet you all the lamp oil consumed in the 19th century that they’d accept. Meanwhile, I hope you will extend these ladies’ legacy. Sign on. Add fuel to their flame.

Together for IV accuracy!

Mark Signature

Go to the post »
Mind The Gap painted warning underfoot between the platforms and trains

I’ve been thinking about minding the gap, looking right, and a potential blindspot in the medication-use process.

Mark Neuenschwander

There is little pedestrian about being a pedestrian in the UK. It pays to heed the painted warnings underfoot between the platforms and trains throughout the color-coded labyrinth of the famed Underground—“MIND THE GAP.” It is paramount, however, to heed the painted curbs at nearly every intersection—“LOOK RIGHT.” Perhaps you’ve had your close call with […]

George Laurer, Mark Neuenschwander and Bill Selmeyer

I’ve been thinking about how the work we do today may impact the world we live in tomorrow.

Mark Neuenschwander

This afternoon, I received an e-mail from my friend George Laurer (to my right), the inventor of the UPC bar code—the very same code scanned on the items I purchased this morning at Costco and Trader Joe’s. It arrived on the anniversary (June 26, 1974) of the first bar-coded product being scanned at a point […]

Hospital Hall

I’ve been thinking about pizza, ceilings, and what we want from airlines and caregivers.

Mark Neuenschwander

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a frequent flier—United 1K. Last week, I was chatting with a fellow passenger who holds the airline’s highest status—Global Services. You can guess what two road warriors who’ve endured a hundred thousand plus miles the previous year kibitz about when belted into uncomfortable seats in aluminum tubes […]

Syringe

I’ve been thinking about SOS, shingles, and the v-word.

Mark Neuenschwander

SOS is the worldwide signal for distress. When originally used in 1908, the letters did not represent words. Rather, the characters were chosen for the ease with which they could be telegraphed and deciphered via Morse Code. The signal employs perhaps the least ambiguous combinations available: dot-dot-dot, dash-dash-dash, and dot-dot-dot. The maritime call letters quickly […]

Adoption of Technology-Assisted CSP Preparation Chart

Making the case for bar code medication preparation (BCMP) in sterile compounding by Jerry Fahrni PharmD

Jerry Fahrni

The tragic death of a hospitalized patient in Oregon [1] has once again put a spotlight on pharmacy i.v. rooms. Unfortunately this isn’t the first i.v. error to harm, or kill a patient and I’m sad to say that it probably won’t be the last. We know that IVs present higher risks than most other […]

Loretta Macpherson of Bend, Oregon

I’ve been thinking about drugs, wars, Christmases, and your hospital (the one you work in and/or the one you go to as a patient).

Mark Neuenschwander

On my daily walks, I’ve been listening to Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. I’m at Christmas of 1943—the year Bing Crosby’s newly recorded “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” began tugging at souls on radios across America. The tug persists. Though the bestseller’s central figure, Louis Zamperini, did […]