Intravenous literature: Keeling, K., Burfield, R., Proudlove, C. and Scales, K. (2010) The Injectable Medicines Guide website. British Journal of Nursing. 19(19), p. Supplement 25 – 28.
National Patient Safety Agency Alert 20 (2007) requires that information on how to prepare and safely administer injectable medicines is available at the point of care. This article describes the development of the Injectable Medicines Guide website, which is recommended in Alert 20 as a suitable source of information. Historically, individual hospitals have produced local guidelines resulting in much duplication of effort. The website was developed by liaising with a large number of hospitals across the UK to produce standardized information on intravenous (IV) medicine administration. The website can be tailored to reflect local needs, which would include those sections that are absolutely essential for safe administration of the medicine; but access to the full monograph can still be easily obtained. In addition, organizations can link locally-produced IV medicine-related guidelines to individual monographs. For organizations that produce their own locally-prepared injectable medicines guide, it is possible to add it to the website in such a way that it can be viewed with an appropriate link in place to the Injectable Medicine Guide website monograph. The Intensive Care Society (2010) has issued a statement supporting the adoption of standard concentrations for 16 medications commonly used in critical care and the website is being updated to reflect this statement. Specialist mental health pharmacists are preparing monographs on medicines commonly administered by intramuscular (IM) injection in mental health practice. These are planned for release in the autumn of 2010. Currently, a robust source of funding is not available to underpin the production of the website. Appropriate funding would allow it to become universally available across the UK, without the need for password-protection. The website could then more easily become embedded in computerized prescribing systems.