The United States Pharmacopeial Convention. Compendial nomenclature. www.usp.org/health-quality-safety/compendial-nomenclature?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzqn3ncmH4QIVAatpChimjA5dEAAYASAAEgLujPD_BwE (accessed 2019 Mar 18).)| false
The United States Pharmacopeial Convention. Nomenclature guidelines. www.uspnf.com/sites/default/files/usp_pdf/EN/USPNF/nom_guidelines.pdf?_gac=1.216670754.1552770605.EAIaIQobChMIzqn3nc-mH4QIVAatpChimjA5dEAAYASAAEgLujPD_BwE (accessed 2019 Mar 18).)| false
National Institutes of Health; US National Library of Medicine. Drug information portal: generic name stems. https://druginfo.nlm.nih.gov/drugportal/jsp/drugportal/DrugNameGenericStems.jsp (accessed 2019 Mar 18).)| false
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US Department of Health and Human Services; US Food and Drug Administration. Nonproprietary naming of biological products: guidance for industry. www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/UCM459987.pdf (accessed 2019 Mar 18).)| false
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Seizures that usually occur during childhood, last 5–10 seconds, and are characterized by staring spells or excessive blinking. Also known as petit mal seizures.
The amount of medication that enters the bloodstream, or systemic circulation.
Recognition by an outside organization that an institution or program meets established criteria.
A neurotransmitter that is released at the ends of nerve fibers in the nervous system and transmits nerve impulses across other nerves or muscles.
Immunity that is formed from the exposure to a disease or from a vaccine.
Ingredient that is responsible for the therapeutic or pharmacologic action of the preparation.
Claims adjudication refers to the determination of the insurer’s payment after the member’s insurance benefits are applied to a prescription claim.
A therapy added on to another therapy to assist or maximize therapy.
Adverse drug reaction
A bothersome or unwanted effect that results from the use of a drug, unrelated to the intended effect of the drug.
Very fine liquid or solid particles of medication suspended in a gas, packaged under pressure, and shaken before use. The medication is released from the container as a spray.
A drug that when attached to a receptor produces an action.
A dramatic decrease in white blood cells.
Loss or impairment of normal motor function.
A commonly observed condition among clinicians overwhelmed with large numbers of clinically insignificant alerts, thus causing them to “tune out” and potentially miss an important drug–drug or drug–allergy alert.
A way to help determine how many parts of each strength should be mixed together to prepare the desired strength.
Ambulatory care pharmacy
A pharmacy generally located within or in close proximity to a clinic, hospital, or medical center that provides medication services to ambulatory patients.
Loss of memory.
The study of body structure.
A room with a minimum of 20 air changes per hour adjacent to the buffer room, which contains a line of demarcation and is where gowning activities take place.
Agent that blocks the action of the parasympathetic nerves.
A substance that is capable of causing the production of an antibody.
A substance used to prevent the spread of cells into surrounding tissue.
A system of measurement originally developed in Greece for use by physicians and pharmacists but now largely replaced by the metric system. It includes the grain and the dram, the most common apothecary measures seen today.
A liquid solution that uses purified water as the vehicle for a medication.
Irregular heart rhythm.
The technique and procedures designed to prevent contamination of drugs, packaging, equipment, or supplies by microorganisms during sterile drug preparation.
A misdirected immune response that happens when the body attacks itself.
Automated dispensing system (ADS)
A system of computerized drug storage devices or cabinets that allow medications to be stored and dispensed near the point of care, while controlling and tracking drug distribution. They also are called unit-based cabinets (UBCs), automated dispensing devices (ADDs), automated dispensing cabinets (ADCs), or automated dispensing machines (ADMs).
Auxiliary prescription label
A label affixed to a drug product that alerts users to special handling or administration concerns.
Average manufacturer price (AMP)
The average price wholesalers pay to manufacturers for drugs distributed through retail pharmacies. This amount includes discounts and other price concessions that are provided by manufacturers.
Average sales price (ASP)
Price based on manufacturer-reported selling price data and includes volume discounts and price concessions that are offered to all classes of trade.
Average wholesale price (AWP)
A commonly used pricing benchmark for billing drugs that are reimbursed in the community pharmacy setting. The AWP for a drug is a “sticker price” set by the drug manufacturer.
A French system of mass that includes ounces and pounds; the system of mass most commonly utilized in the United States.
Barcode medication administration (BCMA)
A process in which the nurse scans a barcode on a patient’s ID band and the barcode specific to the medication prior to medication administration. Documentation of the administration is automatically entered into the patient’s electronic health record. The goal is to make sure the right patient receives the right medication at the right time. The information encoded in barcodes allows for the comparison of the medication administered with what was ordered for the patient.
The compounding record for a batch, usually filed by lot number.
The periodic repackaging of large quantities of medications in unit-dose or single-unit packages.
Beyond-use date (BUD)
A date that is given to a compounded (sterile or nonsterile) preparation or repackaged medication noting when it should no longer be used by the patient.
DEA-registered pharmacies are required by law to take an initial inventory of all controlled substances on hand on commencing operations or on change in ownership, with subsequent inventories conducted every 2 years thereafter.
The percentage of an administered dose of a medication that reaches the bloodstream.
Biological safety cabinet
A vertical laminar airflow workbench (LAFW) used for the preparation of hazardous medications that confines airflow within the hood.
The study of the manufacture of medications for effective delivery into the body. It includes the relationships between the physical and chemical properties of a drug, the dosage form in which the drug is given, the route of administration, and the effects of properties and dosage on the rate and extent of drug absorption.
Often called “bubble packs.” Composed of a plastic bubble that forms a cavity for the medication. The package is then sealed with a backing material that also acts as a label.
Board of pharmacy
A panel of pharmacists and members of the public appointed by a state’s legislature or governor. The duty of a board of pharmacy is to protect the citizens of its state by passing pharmacy rules and regulations. All states and the District of Columbia have a board of pharmacy.
Body movements or mannerisms that can be interpreted as conveying one’s feelings or psychological state of mind.
Body mass index (BMI)
A measure of body fat based on height and weight, used to determine if a patient is underweight, of normal weight, overweight, or obese.
Body surface area (BSA)
The total surface area of the body, taking the patient’s weight and height into account and expressed in m2.
Brand name drug
A drug that is covered by a patent and is available only from a single manufacturer.
A narrowing of the bronchi in the lungs causing less airflow into the lungs.
A widening of the bronchi in the lungs to increase the amount of airflow into the lungs.
A chemical or drug that causes widening of the bronchi in the lungs for easier airflow.
A solid medication dosage form that is placed in the mouth in the space between the cheek and gum and absorbed through the cheek into the bloodstream.
An International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 7 room in which a primary engineering control resides.
Case managers work to manage the cost of medical care for the patient. They may work for an insurance company, hospital, or home care company. They help determine which location patients will receive their treatment (e.g., hospital, home, infusion clinic).
Centralized dispensing automation
Technology that assists in the selection and dispensing of drug products located in a central location, such as the pharmacy. Includes robotics and carousels that use barcode scanning to select and label drug products for patients.
Centralized pharmacy services
Pharmacy services that are provided from one location in the hospital. Pharmacy personnel, resources, and functions primarily reside within this self-contained, central location.
A voluntary process where a nongovernmental agency or association recognizes an individual who has met specific qualifications and has achieved a certain level of knowledge, skill, or experience.
A pharmacy that is part of a large number of corporately-owned pharmacies that use the same name and carry similarly branded over-the-counter (OTC) products.
Special packaging with added caps that children will have difficulty opening. It is used for hazardous products such as prescription and over-the-counter drugs and household products to reduce the risk of children ingesting dangerous items. Child-resistant packaging must pass federal tests to ensure that it meets the federal requirements.
The volume of fluid cleared of drug from the body per unit of time.
An ambulatory pharmacy located in a clinic or medical center to serve outpatients’ needs.
Clinical decision support system (CDS)
Computer tools or applications to assist clinicians with clinical decisions by providing evidence-based knowledge in the context of patient-specific data. Typically, a decision support system responds to “triggers” or “flags”—specific diagnoses, laboratory results, medication choices, or complex combinations of such parameters—and provides information or recommendations directly relevant to a specific patient encounter.
Clinical document architecture (CDA)
A Health Level Seven (HL7) XML-based document markup standard for the electronic exchange model for clinical documents (such as discharge summaries and progress notes). The implementation guide contains a library of CDA templates, incorporating and harmonizing previous efforts from HL7, Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise, and Health Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP). It includes all required CDA templates for stage 1 of the Meaningful Use EHR Incentive Program and HITECH final rule. It is commonly referred to as Consolidate CDA or C-CDA.
The application of biomedical informatics methods and techniques, including information technology, to deliver healthcare services. All informatics when used for healthcare delivery falls in this category, regardless of the health professional group involved (dentist, pharmacist, physician, nurse, or other health professional). It includes a wide range of topics ranging from clinical decision support to clinical documentation to provider order entry systems, and from system design to system implementation and adoption issues.
Clinical pharmacy services
Services provided by a pharmacist focused on patient care. These services vary greatly by facility, but the goal is to ensure that each medication is appropriate, safe, and cost effective, based on the diagnosis of the patient.
Questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”
Closed-system transfer device (CSTD)
A vial transfer system that prevents hazardous drugs from being vented or exposed to the environment during compounding.
A cost-sharing amount that the insured individual pays; the amount is a percentage of a charge for a service, such as a prescription or doctor visit.
The transfer of information, knowledge, facts, wishes, or emotions from one source to another.
Generally a stand-alone pharmacy located within a community that provides medication services to ambulatory patients.
An error occurring when patients do not follow their dosing regimen.
Compounded sterile preparation (CSP)
A pharmacy compounding preparation made using aseptic technique to maintain the sterility of the original compound’s components.
The preparation, mixing, packaging, and labeling of a small quantity of a drug based on a practitioner’s prescription or medication order for a specific patient.
Includes the compounding area and equipment in the pharmacy.
The log or record of an actual compounded preparation or batch that was prepared.
Computerized physician or provider order entry (CPOE)
Entering patient orders electronically into a computer system, eliminating the need to interpret handwriting. Orders may be entered for medications, tests, labs, and other treatments. Computer systems with clinical decision support features compare the medication ordered against standards for dosing, check for allergies and interactions, and alert the provider about potential problems.
Mandatory education that an individual must complete to maintain their licensure or registration.
Continuing professional development (CPD)
A voluntary comprehensive plan designed to identify areas for future improvement, plan an action course to improve those areas, and record progress.
Drugs or chemical substances whose possession and use are regulated under the Federal Controlled Substances Act and by state controlled substance laws and regulations. Controlled substances are subject to stricter controls than other prescription and nonprescription drugs.
A predetermined amount that insured individuals pay at the time of service, such as a prescription or doctor visit, each time they use the insurance benefit.
The portion of the cost of a prescription that the patient is responsible for paying, when a part of the cost is covered by a third-party payer.
Introducing particulate matter in the form of a plastic or rubber “core” or plug into a sterile fluid through the process of penetrating the outer seal of a vial or bag with a needle.
The amount of insurance costs that the insured individual, plan member, or beneficiary shares.
A letter that is usually sent with a resume when applying for a job. The letter highlights your experiences or special skills and expresses your interest in the job.
Also referred to as the donut hole. It is a period of reduced coverage that typically occurs once the individual’s total prescription drug spending for the year reaches the initial coverage limit. During the coverage gap, the beneficiary must pay a higher portion of the costs for prescriptions until the total prescription spending for the year reaches the catastrophic coverage threshold.
Sensitivity to one substance that predisposes an individual to sensitivity to other substances that are related in chemical structure.
Culture of safety
An environment or philosophy that encourages reporting of errors without the fear of punishment.
Cytochrome P450 (CYP450)
A group of enzymes that metabolize drugs.
A user interface that organizes and presents information in a way that is easy to read and is likely to be interactive.
A collection of data in machine-readable format organized so it can be retrieved or processed automatically by a computer. A flat file database is organized like a card file, with many records (cards) each including one or more fields (data items). A relational database is organized as one or more related tables, each containing columns and rows. Data are organized in a database according to a schema or data model; some items are often coded using a clinical coding system.
Days of supply
The amount of medication dispensed for a specified time period.
Drug distribution devices placed in patient care areas.
Decentralized pharmacy services
Pharmacy services that are provided on or near a patient care area. These services are often supported by a central pharmacy. A pharmacy satellite is an example of one form of a decentralized pharmacy service.
A fixed amount that must be paid each year by the individual before the insurance starts to pay.
Fixed beliefs that are false.
The bottom number of a fraction, representing the total number of parts.
Psychological craving or addiction to a substance.
Deteriorated drug error
Use of an expired medication or one whose properties have been compromised.
Diagnosis-related group (DRG)
A prospectively set rate used to reimburse hospitals for a procedure based on cost and intensity. Drugs provided during an inpatient stay are not separately reimbursed; they are included in the DRG payment.
Occurs when the heart muscle is relaxed and the chambers are filling with blood; the pressure is at the lowest point in a normal heart.
The process whereby ingested food is broken up into smaller molecules by chemical or mechanical means.
Buying directly from a manufacturer. It typically involves the execution of a purchase order from the pharmacy to the manufacturer of the drug.
The breakdown of medication from its original solid formulation.
The act of preparing a medication for a patient’s use as authorized by a prescription.
The amount paid for the services related to dispensing a prescription.
The dissolving of medication into solution, usually in the stomach and intestinal tract.
A neurotransmitter in the brain that is responsible for movement and speech.
A water-based solution that is placed into a body cavity (e.g., the vagina) or against a part of the body to clean or disinfect.
Drug distribution services
The system(s) used to distribute medication that begins when the pharmacy receives the medication and ends when the medication is administered to the patient.
The transfer of a prescription drug from a lawful to an unlawful channel of distribution or use.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
The federal agency that administers and enforces federal laws for controlled substances such as narcotics and other dangerous drugs and illegal substances. The DEA is part of the U.S. Department of Justice.
The impact of a drug or food product on the amount or activity of another drug in the body. This interaction can result in enhanced, reduced, or new activity of the drug in the body.
Elastomeric balloon pump system
An intravenous administration system containing reservoirs that consist of multiple layers of elastomeric (i.e., stretchy, elastic-like) membranes within a hard or soft shell. When the device is filled with diluent and a drug, the elastomeric material expands like a balloon. When the tubing that is attached to the device is hooked up to the patient’s catheter, the elastic balloon forces the solution through the tubing and into the patient.
Electronic health record (EHR)
An electronic record of the total health of the patient—going beyond standard clinical data collected in the provider’s office and inclusive of a broader view on a patient’s care. EHRs are designed to reach out beyond the health organization that originally collects and compiles the information. They are built to share information with other healthcare providers, such as laboratories and specialists, so they contain information from all the clinicians involved in the patient’s care.
Electronic medical record
A digital version of the paper charts in a healthcare organization that contains the medical and treatment history of the patients within this organization.
Electronic medication administration record (eMAR)
A component of the electronic patient medical record in which nurses and other healthcare providers document times and dates when a medication is administered to the patient.
Electronic prescribing (e-prescribing)
A type of computer technology whereby physicians use handheld or personal computer devices to review drug and formulary coverage and to transmit prescriptions to a printer or to a local pharmacy. E-prescribing software can be integrated into existing clinical information systems to allow physician access to patient-specific information to screen for drug interactions and allergies.
Electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS)
The electronic prescribing of controlled substances to reduce the potential for diversion, and subsequent abuse, of controlled substances. In accordance with these objectives, the Drug Enforcement Administration ruling stipulates that certain requirements must be met before an organization can enable it.
The removal of a drug from the body, mainly in the urine or feces.
A clear, sweet, flavored water-and-alcohol (hydroalcoholic) mixture to be taken by mouth.
The ability to understand and manage the emotions of oneself and others.
A sharing of or identification with another person’s feelings or state of mind; the ability to view feelings from the patient’s perspective, communicating acceptance or understanding.
Treatment that is started based on experience without any cause identified. For example, a broad-spectrum antibiotic may be started for an infection without knowing the exact bacteria causing the infection. Treatment is started until a culture or test results are obtained.
A mixture of two liquids that normally do not mix, in which one liquid is broken into small droplets (the internal phase) and evenly scattered throughout the other (the external or continuous phase). An emulsifying agent prevents the internal phase from separating from the external phase.
Relates to glands that secrete hormones or other substances directly into the bloodstream.
Administering a medication into the trachea (windpipe); intratracheal.
A solution that is pushed into the rectum to empty the lower intestinal tract or to treat diseases of that area; often given to relieve severe constipation or to clean the large bowel before surgery.
The irreversible removal of a drug or metabolite from a body fluid. The most common location of drug excretion in the body is the kidneys; the biliary tract is another important route of excretion.
To cough up or spit.
Repackaging quantities of medications that will be used within a short period of time.
A concentrated preparation of material removed from dried plant or animal tissue by soaking it in a liquid, which is then evaporated and leaves behind the parts that have medical action; examples include extracts, tinctures, and fluidextracts.
Extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS)
A group of effects that include restlessness (akathisia), muscle contractions (dystonia), and involuntary movements of the limbs, tongue protrusion, rapid eye blinking, and lip smacking (tardive dyskinesia).
Leaking of intravenous solutions into areas outside of the vein, resulting in potentially severe tissue damage.
Motivation based on a reward system such as grades or money.
Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA)
A process that evaluates where errors might occur and estimates their potential impact.
Federal upper limit (FUL)
The maximum of federal matching funds that the federal government will pay to state Medicaid programs for eligible generic and multisource drugs. It is a drug pricing benchmark recently revised by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Calculated as 175 % of the weighted average of AMP.
Fee for service
A method of payment in which providers bill and are paid separately for each patient encounter or service they provide.
Unidirectional clean air direct from a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter that when unobstructed, maintains sterility in your direct compounding area.
The metabolism (breaking down) of orally ingested medications by the liver and small intestine before they reach the main bloodstream.
The belief that aptitude is not changeable.
A list of drugs that are approved and generally stocked by the organization (as in a hospital or health system). In the outpatient setting, a list of drugs and their tiers that a third-party payor will cover.
A part of a whole number, used to express quantities less than one or quantities between two whole numbers.
The actions (operations), capabilities, and usefulness of something such as a software application.
A drug that is no longer covered by a patent and is generally available from multiple manufacturers, usually resulting in a significant reduction in cost.
Compounding technique used to ensure uniform mixing when there is a wide discrepancy in amounts of individual ingredients. The preparer starts with the smallest ingredient amount and mixes it with an equal amount (estimated by sight) of the next smallest ingredient amount and continues adding and doubling the size until all ingredients are integrated.
Reproductive organs; testes in the male, and ovaries in the female. Gonads function to produce reproductive cells and sex hormones.
Perseverance and passion for long-term goals.
Group purchasing organization (GPO)
Purchasing groups consisting of health systems and hospitals that join together to obtain greater collective buying power.
The belief that outcomes can be influenced by how much effort is applied to a task.
The time that it takes for 50% of a drug to be eliminated from the body.
Hearing or seeing things that are not real.
Any drug identified as hazardous or potentially hazardous by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on the basis of at least one of the following six criteria: carcinogenicity, teratogenicity or developmental toxicity, reproductive toxicity in humans, organ toxicity at low doses in humans or animals, genotoxicity, or a new drug that is similar to an existing hazardous drug in structure or toxicity.
The fields of clinical informatics and public health informatics, including both applied research and practice.
Health information technology
The application of information processing involving both computer hardware and software that deals with the storage, retrieval, sharing, and use of healthcare information, data, and knowledge for communication and decision making. Applications of health IT include the electronic health record, the personal health record, computerized provider order entry, and clinical decision support. In addition, health information exchanges are being developed to support sharing of information electronically among healthcare providers. E-health tools like personal health apps and online communities could also be considered part of the broader health IT world.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
The primary federal law establishing health information privacy. HIPAA protects patient’s individually identifiable health information but allows the use and disclosure of information for patient care, treatment, and healthcare operations.
Health Level Seven International (HL7)
An ANSI-accredited, all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization involved in development of international healthcare standards. HL7, a standards development organization, and its members provide a framework for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information. The standards, which support clinical practice and the management, delivery, and evaluation of health services, are the most commonly used in the world. Within the standard, the “7” comes from application layer 7 in the OSI model, which is the highest level where programs talk to each other.
The ability to read, understand, and act on healthcare information to make appropriate decisions and follow instructions for treatment.
A health system is two or more healthcare settings (e.g., hospital, home care, ambulatory clinic) that have a working relationship with each other and are managed or owned by the same business or corporation. Health systems provide complete healthcare services to their patients.
Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS)
A standardized set of medical codes that identifies procedures, equipment, and supplies for claim submission purposes. Level I codes (5 numeric digits) are based on the American Medical Association’s Current Procedural Terminology (CPT). Level II codes (alpha-numeric) are used to identify products, supplies, and services not included in the CPT codes.
A high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter that removes 99.97% of all air particles 0.3 μM or larger. It is composed of pleats of filter medium separated by rigid sheets of corrugated paper or aluminum foil, that direct the flow of air forced through the filter in a uniform parallel flow.
Medications that have a high risk of causing patient harm when used in error.
Healthcare services provided to a patient in the home or other setting in which the patient lives.
A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activity of certain cells or organs. Usually, it is a chemical made by a gland for export to another part of the body; it is not active at its site of synthesis.
An approved list of medications that are routinely stocked in the hospital pharmacy to treat the conditions of patients that the hospital typically serves.
A system of measurement commonly used in cooking, including the teaspoon, the tablespoon, and the cup.
Low blood pressure.
Ideal body weight (IBW)
An estimate of how much a patient should weigh based on his or her height and gender; expressed in kg.
Improper dose error
A dose that is greater than or less than the prescriber’s order.
An ingredient that is necessary to prepare the formulation, but is not intended to cause a pharmacologic response. Inactive ingredients may also be referred to as inert ingredients, added ingredients (or substances), or excipients, and include colorants, flavorants, sweeteners, and wetting agents.
A system of health insurance in which the insurer agrees to pay for the cost of covered services after care has been given on a fee-for-service basis. It usually defines the maximum amounts covered and may require the insured to pay upfront for services and submit a claim for reimbursement.
A community pharmacy or small group of pharmacies in a limited geographic area that are owned by a single individual or a small number of individuals.
A person that uses technology tools to support the management of information within an organization.
A fine powder or solution of a drug sprayed as a mist through the mouth into the respiratory tract.
An agent that slows or blocks the action of a chemical reaction or an enzyme.
The inventory a pharmacy takes of its stock of controlled substances on beginning the dispensing or distribution of controlled substances.
Institutional patient assistance programs (IPAPs)
Programs offering assistance to patients of an institution. Bulk medication replacement is provided to the institution (e.g., pharmacy or clinic) instead of to an individual patient. The institution has the obligation of verifying that each patient who receives medications meets the established criteria.
The person from the home care company who receives the patient referral. This person is responsible for getting the patient’s contact information (address, phone number, etc.), diagnosis, requested home care therapy, pertinent medical data, and insurance information.
The act of bringing together smaller components into a single system that functions as one. It refers to the end result of a process that aims to stitch together different, often disparate, subsystems so that the data contained in each becomes part of a larger, more comprehensive system that, ideally, quickly and easily shares data when needed and often requires that companies build a customized architecture or structure of applications to combine new or existing hardware, software, and other communications.
A boundary across which two independent systems meet and act on or communicate with each other
International Standards Organization (ISO)
Developer and publisher of International Standards that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors to enable a consensus to be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society.
The ability of health information systems to work together within and across organizational boundaries in order to advance the effective delivery of healthcare for individuals and communities.
Injected directly into an artery: the medication is immediately available to act in the body.
Injected directly into the articular (joint) space.
Injected directly into the heart muscle.
Injected into the top layers of the skin.
Injected directly into a large muscle, such as the upper arm, thigh, or buttock, and absorbed from the muscle into the bloodstream.
Administered into the peritoneal space (abdominal cavity).
Administered into the pleural space (the sac that surrounds the lungs).
Injected into the space around the spinal cord.
Administered into the trachea (windpipe); endotracheal.
Administered into the uterus.
Injected directly into a vein: the medication is immediately available to act in the body.
Injected into the brain ventricles or cavities.
Administered into the bladder; usually refers to the urinary bladder.
Administered into the vitreous space in the eye; intravitreous.
Motivation based on a sense of fulfillment or satisfaction from the task.
Investigational drug services
Services provided to support clinical trials involving medications.
A solution used to wash or cleanse part of the body, such as the eyes, the urinary bladder, open wounds, or scraped skin.
A semisolid solution that contains a high amount of liquid, usually water.
Just-in-time inventory management
A philosophy of inventory management where products are ordered and delivered at just the right time—when they are needed for patient care—with aims to minimize wasted steps, labor, and cost. The goal is to neither overstock nor understock products.
Excess amount of ketones in the body caused by high blood sugar levels. Symptoms include fatigue, fruity breath, and can lead to coma or death.
Laminar airflow workbench (LAFW)
A work area (hood) where parenteral products are compounded. Twice-filtered laminar layers of aseptic air continuously sweep the work area inside the hood to prevent the entry of contaminated room air. There are two common types of laminar flow workbenches: horizontal flow and vertical flow.
A drug required by federal law to be dispensed by prescription only. It is the older term for drugs that are now identified as “Rx Only.”
A compounding method of incorporating a solid (i.e., powder) into an ointment. A small amount of a levigating agent is added to the powder to form a paste, which is then incorporated into the ointment.
The process where a governmental agency gives permission to an individual to work in a specific occupation. The individual must show that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to protect public health, safety, and welfare as they work in that occupation.
A larger first dose given to quickly achieve a high drug concentration in the body.
A usually disk-shaped solid medication dosage form that is held in the mouth and sucked to release medication into the mouth.
A pharmacy that functions like a warehouse, with pharmacists and technicians who dispense prescriptions that are mailed to patients.
Managed care pharmacy
An ambulatory care pharmacy that is owned and operated as part of a managed care system such as a health maintenance organization (HMO).
A company that manufacturers or makes products such as drugs.
Typically occurs in licensed manufacturing facilities and includes the production, conversion, and/or processing of a drug, generally in bulk quantities and without a prescription or medication order.
Master formulation record
An individual record (like a recipe) for a preparation. It includes a listing of the ingredients, compounding equipment, and instructions for preparing the compound.
Maximizing inventory turns
An inventory turn occurs when stock is completely depleted and reordered. Ideally, products should not sit on the shelf unused for long periods; they should be purchased and used many times throughout the course of a year. Inventory turns can be calculated by dividing the total purchases in a period by the value of physical inventory taken at a reasonable single point in time.
Maximum allowable cost (MAC)
Used for generic or multisource drug reimbursement; usually based on the cost of the lowest available generic equivalent.
A tiered set of objectives related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs. Meaningful use criteria must be met by eligible professionals and hospitals if they are to collect financial rewards for the implementation of qualified, certified EHRs to achieve health and efficiency goals.
Medication administration record (MAR)
A component of the paper patient medical record in which nurses and other healthcare providers document times and dates when a medication is administered to the patient.
An error occurring during the medication-use process.
Patient information approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help patients avoid serious adverse effects, inform patients about known serious side effects, and provide directions for use to promote adherence to the treatment. These are available for specific drugs or classes of drugs and must be dispensed with the prescription.
A general term to describe drug-related incidents.
A written, electronic, faxed, or verbal (in person or by telephone) request for a patient medication in an inpatient setting.
The process of creating the most accurate list possible of all medications a patient is taking—including drug name, dosage, frequency, and route—and comparing that list against the physician’s admission, transfer, and/or discharge orders, with the goal of providing correct medications to the patient at all transition points.
Freedom from accidental or preventable injury related to the medication-use process.
Medication therapy management (MTM)
A service (or services) performed by a pharmacist to maximize health results for a patient. Such services include assessing a patient’s health; designing a medication plan; selecting, starting, changing, or giving medication; monitoring the patient’s response to the medication; looking for medication-related problems; documenting and communicating patient health information to other healthcare professionals; educating the patient about the use of the medications and making sure that he or she understands how to correctly use them; and coordinating medication therapy management services with the other healthcare services.
Medication-use evaluation (MUE)
A performance improvement method that evaluates how medications are utilized to treat patients in the hospital. The goal is to improve medication use and optimize patient therapy.
All of the steps involved in providing medications to patients and monitoring their effects. It involves multiple healthcare professionals, such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists and technicians, and respiratory therapists. It includes prescribing, ordering, transcribing, procurement, dispensing, administration, and monitoring.
The recipient of mentorship.
A person providing counseling or guidance.
The act of providing assistance to a new employee to help them increase their technical skills, knowledge, or emotional well-being.
Information, a point of view, or an idea that is being communicated.
The breakdown of medication in the body.
A breakdown product of a medication that has undergone metabolism.
The most widely used and accepted system of measurement in the world; based on multiples of 10.
The way individuals see and interact with the world around them.
A strategy of how the individual or institution will achieve their vision.
A shorthand name for a drug product that facilitates faster computer data entry.
Failure to review a medication order or associated clinical laboratory values.
Monoclonal antibody (MAB)
An antibody that is cloned or genetically produced from a specific hybrid cell. These agents can be used in diagnosing or treating many medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Crohn disease, rheumatoid arthritis, cancers, high cholesterol, and many others.
One therapy or sole therapy.
The suppression of white blood cell and platelet production from the bone marrow.
Inflammation of the heart muscle.
National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP)
Founded in 1977, a not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited, standards development organization with over 1500 members representing virtually every sector of the pharmacy services industry. The NCPDP creates and promotes the transfer of data related to medications, supplies, and services within the healthcare system through the development of standards and industry guidance.
National drug code (NDC) number
A unique number assigned to each drug, strength, and package size for the purpose of identification.
A group of pharmacies, physicians, hospitals, or other providers who participate in a certain managed care plan.
A substance that transmits nerve impulses from one nerve cell to another.
A liquid solution that uses a fluid other than water as the vehicle for medication.
A drug that is not included on the approved formulary list.
Compounds prepared in a pharmacy that do not require strict aseptic technique and include preparations such as oral and topical medications.
The exchange of messages by using means other than speaking to convey attitudes, beliefs, and emotions.
A neurotransmitter that can increase blood pressure, heart rate, and can cause vasoconstriction.
The top number of a fraction, representing the number of parts present.
Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
The principle federal entity charged with coordination of nationwide efforts to implement and use the most advanced health information technology and the electronic exchange of health information. The position of the National Coordinator was created in 2004, through an Executive Order, and legislatively mandated in the HITECH Act of 2009.
Oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion
An emulsion in which small oil droplets (internal phase) are scattered throughout water (external, continuous phase).
A semisolid medication dosage form applied to the skin or mucous membranes that lubricates and softens or is used as a vehicle for medication.
A scheduled dose that is omitted entirely.
Questions that require a response other than a simple “yes” or “no”—designed to obtain as much information from an individual as possible.
Orthostatic hypotension (postural hypotension)
Decrease in blood pressure upon standing.
Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs
Drugs that are available without a prescription.
A decrease in platelets, red and white blood cells.
A route of medication administration that does not use the digestive tract, such as intravenous, intramuscular, or subcutaneous administration.
An inventory management system in which predetermined stock minimum and maximum quantities to be maintained are established. Once the stocked quantity goes below the par level, more product is ordered.
Immunity transferred to an individual artificially. For example, giving a patient immune globulin or the transfer of a mother’s antibodies through the placenta to the fetus.
Unhealthy function in an individual body system or an organ due to a disease.
Patient assistance programs (PAPs)
Programs offering certain free drugs to low-income patients who lack prescription drug coverage and/or meet certain criteria.
The act of a pharmacist educating a patient regarding the proper use of a prescribed drug, at the time of dispensing.
Patient identification number
A unique code number that identifies a given patient (for example, a medical record number) or a patient and specific admission date (for example, an account number).
A secure online website that gives patients convenient 24-hour access to personal health information from anywhere with an Internet connection.
A list of information about a patient, including name, identification number, date of birth, sex, height, weight, laboratory values, admitting and secondary diagnoses, room and bed number, names of admitting and consulting physicians, allergies, medication history, special considerations, and clinical comments.
Freedom from accidental or preventable injury produced by medical care.
Patient service representative
In home care, a person responsible for controlling the patient’s inventory of supplies and screening for problems by contacting the patient or caregiver weekly or on a routine basis, depending on the anticipated delivery schedule. Often, this individual helps coordinate pickup of supplies and equipment when the patient’s therapy is completed.
The responsible provision of drug therapy for the purpose of achieving outcomes that improve a patient’s quality of life; focuses on the patient’s role and responsibility in his or her medication-taking and health-related behaviors.
Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA)
A type of pain management in which the patient receives parenteral narcotics with a basal/continuous rate and/or has the capabilities to give fixed bolus doses to himself or herself using an electronic ambulatory infusion pump. The PCA pump allows one or both of the features to be in use at one time; the prescriber may choose to use only the bolus option with lock-out periods or only the continuous rate to meet patient needs.
The mental process of becoming aware of or recognizing an object or idea.
Through the skin; transdermal.
A swelling or fluid accumulation in the lower limbs.
Damage of nerves other than the brain and the spinal cord.
Peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC)
An intravenous catheter that is inserted through a vein in the arm, and guided (threaded) into a large vein above the right side of the heart called the superior vena cava.
Waves of involuntary muscular contractions in the digestive tract. In the stomach, this motion mixes food with gastric juices, turning it into a thin liquid called chyme.
Pumps with a series of roller wheels that press against tubing to force a volume of liquid down the length of the tubing.
Perpetual inventory process
An inventory method in which medications, specifically controlled substances and investigational drugs, are inventoried and tracked continuously. Each dose or packaged unit, such as a tablet, vial, or milliliter of fluid volume, is accounted for at all times.
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
Gowning worn to protect a compounder from hazardous materials, or to prevent shedding of human particulates.
The hydrogen ion concentration in a solution/fluid. The lower the pH, the more acidic the solution and the greater the hydrogen ion concentration; a pH of 7.4 is considered to be normal for blood.
A healthcare professional licensed by the state to practice pharmacy. Pharmacists have advanced training in pharmaceutical sciences, such as pharmacology (the study of drugs and their actions in the body), pharmacokinetics (the process by which drugs are absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and eliminated in the body), and pharmaceutics (the design and preparation of drug dosage forms).
Typically, an individual who has accepted the responsibility for the complete supervision, management, and compliance with all federal and state pharmacy laws, rules, and regulations governing the practice of pharmacy within the pharmacy.
The study of the relationship between the concentration of a drug in the body and the response or outcome observed or measured in a patient.
The study of how a person’s genetic makeup can impact the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of a drug.
The study of the movement of a drug through the body during the following phases: absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion.
Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) Committee
A group of healthcare providers that oversee medication use in an institution or healthcare system and recommend policies with a goal of providing cost-effective, safe, and therapeutic medications to patients.
Pharmacy benefit manager (PBM)
A third-party payer that manages pharmacy benefits for managed care organizations, self-insured employers, insurance companies, labor unions, Medicaid and Medicare prescription drug plans, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, and other federal, state, and local government entities.
An integral discipline within the clinical informatics domain, centered on the effective management and delivery of medication-related data, information, and knowledge across systems that support the medication-use process. Also referred to as pharmacoinformatics.
A physical space located in or near a patient care area that can provide a variety of distributive and clinical services.
A healthcare professional who assists pharmacists by performing the routine, day-to-day functions of the practice of pharmacy that do not require the judgment of a pharmacist. Pharmacy technicians may also be called pharmacy support personnel or staff.
The study of how living organisms function normally, including such processes as nutrition, movement, and reproduction.
Plan, do, study, act (PDSA)
A method of testing small changes quickly, studying the outcomes, and making adjustments to improve a process.
Pneumatic tube system
A network of tubes that propel cylindrical containers from one location to another allowing for fast and convenient delivery.
Practice of pharmacy
The duties and responsibilities of pharmacists, including, but not limited to, interpretation, evaluation, dispensing, and/or implementation of prescription drug orders, and the initiation and provision of pharmacist care services. The practice of pharmacy is regulated by each state through its pharmacy laws and regulations.
The amount the individual pays to belong to a health plan. Premiums are often paid monthly.
Error occurring during the prescribing process.
The written or verbal authorization, by an authorized prescriber, for the use of a particular pharmaceutical agent for an individual patient. This term also refers to the physical product dispensed.
A medication individualized for a specific patient that requires the mixing of ingredients in a pharmacy and is based on a prescription or drug order. Also see Compounding.
Prescription drug monitoring programs
State prescription drug monitoring programs collect, review, and analyze information received from pharmacies about controlled substance prescriptions dispensed in the state. State law enforcement and regulatory agencies may review the information to assist in identifying and investigating potential diversion and abuse of controlled substance prescriptions.
Primary engineering control (PEC)
Workstation that maintains an ISO 5 environment through the use of HEPA filters and unidirectional airflow, such as an LAFW.
Primary prescription label
A label, affixed to a dispensed drug product, that contains legally required information, including pharmacy name and address, patient name, prescriber name, drug name, directions for use, date dispensed, cautionary statements, sequential prescription number, initials or name of dispensing pharmacist, quantity dispensed, number of refills, expiration date, and lot number.
A wholesaler from which a pharmacy purchases the majority of its pharmaceuticals according to an established arrangement or contract.
Requires the prescriber to receive preapproval from the PBM in order for the drug to be covered by the benefit.
A combination of two ratios with the same units; a statement of equality between two ratios.
The amount to be paid for drugs is predetermined based on the treated condition. It typically includes all costs associated with treating a particular condition, including medications.
Protected health information (PHI)
Any health information that identifies or could reasonably be used to identify a patient.
A document executed by a purchaser and forwarded to a supplier that is considered a legal offer to buy products or services.
A method to check and validate the steps throughout a process to ensure that the final product will be free of defects or medication errors.
Set upper limits of an amount of a drug that is covered by the plan or prescription benefit, or the total days of therapy.
A representation of the relationship between two items. For example, when calculating a dose, a ratio can be used to show the number of milligrams in the dose per 1 kg of patient weight (mg/kg).
A ratio expressed as 1:something, where the units are grams per milliliters.
The manufacturer on its own accord or at the direction of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removes a product from the market for safety or quality reasons such as mislabeling, contamination, lack of potency, lack of adherence to acceptable good manufacturing practices, or other situations that may present a significant risk to public health.
The recipient of a message.
A structure on the surface of a cell (or inside a cell) that selectively receives and binds a specific substance.
The process of making a list or being added to an existing list. A pharmacy technician may be required to be registered with the state board of pharmacy before legally carrying out some pharmacy functions.
Regulations (or rules)
An administrative or governmental agency issues regulations (or rules) that establish the requirements that the regulated persons or entities must follow. For example, a state board of pharmacy issues regulations for pharmacy technicians to establish the qualifications that pharmacy technicians must meet to work as a pharmacy technician in a state.
Money that is collected from a third-party payer to cover partial cost or the entire cost of a patient’s prescription.
The ability to have healthy relationships with those around you.
Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA)
The public law enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and some state agencies that creates the framework for proper management of hazardous and nonhazardous solid waste.
A decrease in the ability to inhale and exhale.
The reaction of a receiver upon receiving a message.
A list of an individual’s education, work experience, credentials, and accomplishments that is submitted to a potential employer when applying for a job.
Reimbursement (payment) is given after the drugs are dispensed, according to a predetermined formula that is specified in a contract between the pharmacy and the third-party payer, such as the insurance company or pharmacy benefit manager.
Represents the inflow of funds.
Inflammation of the nasal lining.
Risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS)
Safety strategy developed by a pharmaceutical company that is used to ensure that patients are able to obtain and safely use a medication known to have a serious potential risk.
Root cause analysis (RCA)
A process for retrospectively analyzing an error.
A normalized naming system for clinical drugs that links its names to many of the drug vocabularies commonly used in pharmacy management and drug interaction software, including those of First Databank, Micromedex, MediSpan, Gold Standard Alchemy, and Multum. By providing links between these vocabularies, it can mediate messages between systems not using the same software and vocabulary.
Secondary engineering control (SEC)
A pressurized room with filtered air, such as an ante room or buffer room.
To form and give off.
The ability to accurately identify emotions while they are happening to you.
The ability to control emotions.
The individual who conveys a message to a receiver.
A neurotransmitter found in the brain and intestines. It is responsible for controlling mood, gastric secretions, and can cause vasoconstriction.
A reaction that can occur from excessive serotonin levels in the body. The effects may include agitation, confusion, tremor, seizures, fever, coma, and death.
Infusion pumps equipped with intravenous medication error prevention software. These devices have specific drug libraries, dose calculators, programming limits, and remote communication capabilities.
The ability to recognize and understand the emotions of those around you.
An evenly blended mixture of dissolved medication in a liquid vehicle.
Medications or therapies that are high cost, require special handling or monitoring, and/or are used to treat rare diseases in a limited patient population.
An instrument for measuring blood pressure. Sphygmomanometers are available as a mercury column, a gauge with a dial face, and an electronic device with a digital display. A sphygmomanometer consists of a measuring unit attached to a cuff that is wrapped around the upper arm and inflated to constrict the arteries.
The person being recommended by a sponsor for special opportunities or positions.
A person, usually in a leadership role, who recommends another person for special opportunities or positions.
The act of recommending an employee to high-level institution leadership to help that employee’s career advance.
Defined in United States Pharmacopeia and the National Formulary (USP–NF) as the extent to which a preparation retains, within specified limits and throughout its period of storage and use, the same properties and characteristics that it possessed at the time of compounding.
Abbreviation of the Latin word statim, meaning immediately; commonly used on medication orders to indicate the need for the drug right away.
Requiring the use of a recognized first-line drug before a more complex or expensive second-line drug is used. Beneficiaries must try and fail the first-line drug before a second-line drug may be covered by the benefit.
Compounds prepared using strict aseptic technique including preparations such as injections, ophthalmic solutions, and irrigation solutions.
A product free from viable microorganisms.
Placing the products that will expire the soonest in the front of the shelf or bin and those with later expiration dates behind them.
Stop, think, act, review (STAR)
A safety strategy to refocus attention to detail.
A condition in which blood collects underneath the membrane that covers the brain. If untreated it may lead to stroke, seizures, or death.
Deposited in the tissue just under the skin.
Administered in the space between the tooth and gum.
Placed under the tongue, where medication dissolves and is absorbed into the bloodstream.
Supply chain management
Streamlining of the pharmacy’s supply-side activities to deliver value by making sure supply purchasing and controls run in the safest, most effective, and efficient manner possible.
A mixture of fine particles of an undissolved solid spread throughout a liquid or sometimes a gas.
Occurs when the heart muscle is contracting and ejecting blood from the chambers of the heart; the pressure is at the highest point in a normal heart.
Tall man lettering
An error prevention technique used to differentiate look-alike medication names. A portion of the letters is capitalized (e.g., niCARdipine and NIFEdipine).
A method in which a pharmacist utilizes telecommunications technology to oversee aspects of pharmacy operations or provide patient care services.
The blood levels (between maximum and minimum) at which most patients receive a medication’s desired effect with minimal side effects.
An organization (either private or public) that reimburses a pharmacy or patient for products and/or services.
A state of unresponsiveness to a specific antigen or group of antigens to which a person is normally responsive. Immune tolerance is achieved under conditions that suppress the immune reaction and is not just the absence of an immune response.
A seizure characterized by jerking or twitching movements of the body.
Applied to the skin, mucous membranes, or other external parts of the body, such as fingernails, toenails, and hair.
Total parenteral nutrition (TPN)
Refers to the IV administration of nutrition needed to sustain life (also known as hyperalimentation).
Through the skin; percutaneous
A patch containing medication that is absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream.
Transitions of care
Refers to the movement of patients between healthcare practitioners, settings, and home as their condition and care needs change.
Administered through, or across, a mucous membrane.
The act of mixing powders or crushing tablets using a mortar and pestle (i.e., solid is rubbed with mortar and pestle) until a state of fine, evenly-sized particles is achieved.
Unauthorized drug error
An error occurring when a drug given to or taken by a patient was not ordered by an authorized prescriber.
A single dose or individually packaged medication dose in a ready-to-administer form.
Characterized by a vial, an envelope, or a plastic bag containing several doses of the same medication.
Treating all patients as if they were potentially infectious to prevent employees from exposure to human blood or other potentially infectious material; for example, wearing personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, masks, and gowns), hand washing, and proper handling and disposal of potentially infectious material.
An increase in the diameter of a blood vessel to allow more blood flow through the vessel.
A statement identifying what an individual or an institution wants to accomplish.
Volume of distribution
The extent of a medication’s outreach to various tissues and spaces throughout the body.
Pumps that allow the user to preset a volume to be dispensed into a container on the basis of the draw back setting.
Water-in-oil (W/O) emulsion
An emulsion in which small water droplets (internal phase) are spread throughout an oil (external, continuous phase).
Wholesale acquisition cost (WAC)
Represents the list price paid by a wholesaler, distributor, or direct purchaser; the price at which the manufacturer sells the drug to the wholesaler without discounts.
A large-scale warehouse with drugs and supplies located in various geographic regions that exist to help bring pharmaceutical products closer to the market.
The series of activities that is necessary to complete a task. Each step has a specific step before it and a specific step after it, with the exception of the first step. In a linear workflow, the first step is usually initiated by an outside event. If the workflow has a loop structure, however, the first step is initiated by the completion of the last step.
Wrong administration technique error
An error occurring when a medication is given or taken by the wrong route or the use of an improper procedure.
Wrong dosage form error
Use of the incorrect medication dosage form.
Wrong time error
Administration of a medication dose outside of an established scheduled time.
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