Background Incorrect use of transdermal patches can and has resulted in significant patient harm, including death. Multidisciplinary guidelines to ensure their safe use have been developed in-house and disseminated to all hospitals in the country.
Purpose To produce easy-to-use guidance for staff that would promote safe practice in all aspects of patch use, including prescribing, application, documentation, removal and disposal.
Materials and methods A patient-focused group addressed all safety concerns around transdermal patch use and subsequently developed guidelines based on best practice points cited in the literature as well as innovative practice-based elements developed by the group. The processes identified the roles of each healthcare professional in their patients’ safety and care.
Results Guidance has been developed to inform all healthcare staff of the potential dangers and necessary safety procedures required each time a transdermal patch is used. The implementation of these new processes throughout our hospital serves to improve patient safety. This is likely to lead to a long-term, sustained improvement in patient safety in the MMUH. This information is now available throughout Ireland via the Irish Medication Safety Network. Consistent implementation will optimise transdermal drug delivery and improve all aspects of patient safety associated with its use.
Conclusions No such guidance exists in any other healthcare facility, either in Ireland or internationally, therefore the requirement for this work went beyond the needs of the MMUH. It was envisaged that by using a multidisciplinary approach for development of guidance, the work could be tailored to have relevance for, and benefit patients, beyond the environs of the MMUH and therefore would be suitable for national dissemination and implementation.
No conflict of interest.
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