Nurses need every resource possible to keep their patients safe from untoward drug effects. In the wake of rising public controversy about drug safety and two drug-focused Institute of Medicine (IOM) reports released in 2006, Nursing Spectrum Drug Handbook 2008 is an especially timely publication.
The first report, “Preventing Drug Errors,” found that adverse drug events harm at least 1.5 million Americans each year and that the average hospital patient is subject to at least one medication error per day. The second report, “The Future of Drug Safety: Promoting and Protecting the Health of the Public,” continues the national debate over drug safety that intensified after the 2004 withdrawal of Vioxx, the popular arthritis drug associated with double the risk of myocardial infarction. This report found that problems at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), such as lack of clear regulatory authority, chronic underfunding, and organizational issues, have led to the agency’s failure to fully ensure the safety of the nation’s drug supply.
A major focus of the report—one that’s especially important for nurses—is postmarketing drug surveillance, the process for monitoring a medication’s risk-benefit profile after FDA approval. While the ramifications of these reports ripple through the healthcare industry and the halls of Congress, the implications for nurses are clear.We’ve always served as the defacto drug safety officers in health care.Now it’s clear that we must augment the “five rights” of drug administration—right patient, right drug, right time, right dosage, and right administration route—with enhanced patient education on drugs.We must also monitor patients receiving
both new and old drugs for evidence of drug effectiveness and adverse effects. Nursing Spectrum Drug Handbook 2008 makes these nursing responsibilities easier.Written specifically to help nurses keep their patients safe, it has many safety-themed features—including a 32-page “Safe drug administration”
insert, a photogallery that helps you identify tablets and capsules, and appendices on essential drug topics.
Most importantly, it offers the most succinct, most readable, and most comprehensive drug monographs available in a nursing drug handbook. Each monograph is designed and written for easy understanding and fast access to drug facts, and presented in the format that’s most useful to the busy nurse.