Baxter Healthcare Corporation has introduced drug labels to help reduce medication errors by creating enhanced packaging that provides additional safeguards to assist clinicians in the correct identification of critical medications.

Baxter Healthcare Corporation has introduced enhanced drug labeling initiative at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ Midyear Clinical Meeting, held December 2 – 6. The initiative is intended to help reduce medication errors by creating enhanced packaging that provides additional safeguards to assist clinicians in the correct identification of critical medications. Baxter will be launching several new products and technologies in the coming years designed to help reduce the risk of medication errors.

As one of the top five high alert medications as designated by the Institute of Safe Medication Practices, Heparin Sodium Injection, a commonly used anticoagulant, is the first medication offered with the new enhanced label. The label features an increase of 20 percent font size, a unique color combination, and a large red cautionary tear-off label.

According to the Institute of Medicine, 1.5 million Americans are injured each year from medication errors in hospitals, nursing homes and outpatient clinics/surgery centers. An estimated 7,000 Americans die each year as a result of medication errors.

Incorrect drug administration accounts for the largest proportion of harmful medication errors. Eight high alert products, including insulin, morphine, and heparin, were involved in more than 31 percent of all medication errors that caused harm to patients. High alert medications bear a heightened risk of causing significant harm to patients when administered incorrectly or in error. Sixty percent of life threatening or lethal errors involve intravenous (IV) drugs such as heparin.

Baxter conducted multiple interviews with more than 100 pharmacists, physicians and nurses to identify areas for improvement . The feedback received from health care professionals guided the design of the new vial packaging.

In research conducted after the three-phase development program, clinicians indicated that the new packaging design enhancements addressed the current clinical needs for safer injectable drug administration and could help reduce medication errors.

 Baxter Healthcare Corporation through its subsidiaries, assists healthcare professionals and their patients with treatment of complex medical conditions, including hemophilia, immune disorders, cancer, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma and other indications. The company applies its expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology to make a meaningful difference in patients’ lives.