Pharmacy Sig codes are used by medical staff, paramedical staff and doctors behind the counter to save much of their time but using them carelessly and wrong interpretation can lead to serious problems. The medical staff uses them to accelerate their data entry process. These sig codes are programmed in pharmacy or hospital computer system. They are designed to have a set of instructions. To make an example you can say that a computer can be programmed for 1TBID which means to have “take one tablet by mouth once daily.” They are also present on pharmacy labels. They are also programmed to represent specific dosage and drug. For example, if you are confused about LIP20 then it means Lipitor 20mg.
Pharmacy Sig Codes Save Time
Pharmacy sig codes can save time but you have to be very careful that they may have many risks associated with them. These codes contribute to serious medical errors. For example, once a physician prescribed the anti-drug inflammatory drug to a patient and instructed to take one tablet twice daily with food for elbow and shoulder pain. The pharmacy added the description with one tablet daily with food for elbow and shoulder pain but the patient was taking the medicine correctly.
Safe Use of Pharmacy Sig codes
With the above-mentioned example, you have come to know that these Pharmacy Sig codes can lead to serious medication errors but you can reduce them with below-mentioned strategies.
- These sig codes must be used by administrative persons who are using a standardized process. Do test them to verify that they are working correctly.
- Do not allow your medical staff to enter new sig codes into the hospital computer system. For chain pharmacies, they should not be allowed to enter at store level.
- Make use of sig codes that are used in daily routine. It is your moral duty to remove and delete outdated sig codes from pharmacy computer system.
- Must avoid using dangerous pharmacy sig codes. List of confused drug names can lead to serious misunderstanding and error. This can lead to add the names of unintended product names and drugs name. For example, novo7030 can be used to represent NovoLin, NovoLog Mix extra.
- During the process of dispensing, the name of the drug written on prescription should be matched to manufacturer product and computer labels.
- Make sure to match the instructions written on the prescription with those printed on the labels of the medicine to avoid serious mistakes and errors.
- It is very important to verify the direction and usage of the medicine with the patient.
When expressing numerical quantity, they must be written in Roman numerical to avoid misunderstand and confusion. It is a short note of doctor to the patient. If you go more deeply the data can be translated in other languages. Common people cannot understand these pharmacy sig codes. For example, the code QID will not be understandable by you but in actual, it means “four times a day”.
Pharmacy Sig Codes List
|qOD||EVERY OTHER DAY|
|BID||TWICE A DAY|
|TID||THREE A DAY|
|QID||FOUR A DAY|
|TDS||3 TIMES A DAY|
|AC||BEFORE A MEAL|
|PC||AFTER A MEAL|
|PO||BY MOUTH / ORAL|