Group Project by: Stacy Petrose, Gabriella Garitano, Laney Malandro


Dosage errors of high alert medications are one of the biggest problems in the medical field. If error occurs when administering high alert (also known as high- hazard) medications it can cause significant harm to the patient including death. Medical staff should be well educated to avoid errors using the proper protocols.




  • Do not use abbreviations when prescribing High AlertMedications
  • Specify the dose, route, and rate of infusion for High Alert Medications prescribed (eg: IV Dopamine 5mcg/kg/min over 1 minutes)
  • Prescribe oral liquid medications with the dose specified in miligrams
  • Do not use trailing zero when prescribing (eg: 5.0mg can be mistaken as 50mg)


  • The following particulars shall be independently counter checked against the prescription or medication chart at the bedside by two appropriate persons before administration:
    • Patient’s name and RN
    • Name and strength of medication
    • Dose
    • Route and rate
    • Expiry date
  • Return all unused medication to pharmacy when no longer
  • Avoid ordering High Alert Medications verbally. In cases of
    emergency, phone orders have to be repeated and verified


Medication safety & patient safety in hospitals

This chart shows administration is one of the most common error that health care providers make.


Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), included a recent article by Barbara Starfield, M.D., stating that physician error

“medication error and adverse events from drugs or surgery kill 225,400 people per year (Chart 1.5).11 That makes our health care system the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind only cancer and heart disease” — T. Colin Campbell



A– Anti-infectives

P– Potassium and other electrolytes

I– Insulin

N– Narcotics and other sedatives

C– Chemotherapy Agents

H –Heparin and other anticoagulants


Lessons to be learned

The purpose of identifying high-alert medications is to establish safeguards to reduce the risk of errors with these drugs in all phases of the medication-use process. The primary goals of implementing risk-reduction strategies are to: 1) prevent errors, 2) make errors visible, and 3) mitigate harm. – Matthew Grissinger



After exploring safety and risks of high alert medications  it opens your eyes realizing how important it is to be properly educated in the protocols when administrating high alert medication. Even when using them as regular treatments. Professionally it helps to prevent errors while ensuring the patients well being.


Our Proccess

The process of this project was to identify what high alert medication are and the  risks and safety of high alert medications . Learning that the only real way to prevent harm to patients is by being educated and understanding protocols.