What is EZDrug ID?
EZDrugID is a global campaign to improve the safety of medication packaging initiated by a multi-professional group of healthcare workers. Petitions to the relevant regulatory bodies to implement changes to drug packaging have been established in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States & South Africa.
What Is The Issue?
Inadequate standards for medication packaging allow for medications with very different actions to be packaged in a very similar manner (“look-alike drugs”). This particularly occurs when colour & design elements of packaging are used to emphasise the manufacturer’s brand rather than distinguishing between different products. The occurrence of look-alike drugs increases the risk of significant drug error and the potential for serious patient harm.
At present standards delivered by the ACQSHC only exist for user applied labels (see here).
The goal of this project is standardised industry labelling for (initally) theatre drugs – including but not limited to colour coding of labels according to ISO standards.
What Can Be Done?
Unfortunately, even the most conscientious clinician will occasionally make mistakes. Thus whilst clinician vigilance is an important strategy it is not able to provide a robust solution to these issues. EZDrugID supports incorporation of strategies into manufacturer drug packaging & labelling which maximise distinctiveness of different medications and consistency between similar medications, in order to facilitate identification of the correct drug & dose.
To read more and lend your support please click on this link for more information.
Standardised labelling exists for staff to apply to syringes and drug administration sets:
We have asked the ACQSHC to let us know of what progress is being made towards standardised industry labelling. We will keep you posted on their reply.
Where we hear of companies using a standardised approach to drug ampoules we will let you know. Please keep us informed if you hear anything too.
Thank you for your support.