Pediatric patients are at a heightened risk for medication errors due to variability in medication ordering and administration. Dose rounding and standardization have been 2 practices historically used to reduce variability and improve medication safety. This article will describe strategies for implementing pediatric dose standardization.
Local practice often dictates the operational decisions made at an institutional level, leading to a lack of a standard methodology. Vizient survey results demonstrate there is wide variation in dose standardization and ready-to-use (RTU) practices although most responding institutions have attempted to limit bedside manipulation to reduce medication error. There are many barriers to consider before pursuing dose standardization at an institution. These include selecting medications to standardize, calculating appropriate standardized doses, preparing RTU products, and supplying the products to the patient. Strategies to overcome implementation issues are described as well as identification of knowledge gaps related to the preparation and use of RTU products in the pediatric population.
There is opportunity to enhance an institution's ability to provide RTU medications. Although there are several barriers, those that have had successful implementation have leveraged their information technology systems, garnered multidisciplinary support, and customized their practice to meet their operational demands.