[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Special Communication
December 2014

Using Multidose Eyedrops in a Health Care Setting: A Policy and Procedural Approach to Safe and Effective Treatment of Patients

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pharmacy Services, Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, Intermountain Healthcare, Provo, Utah
  • 2now with Department of Pharmacy Services, Intermountain Medical Center, Intermountain Healthcare, Murray, Utah
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2014;132(12):1476-1479. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2014.3248

Importance  Quality and safety of eyedrop use for patients treated in a health care setting play a vital role in the delivery of health care.

Objective  To describe the development of a policy and procedural approach to the use of multidose eyedrops in multiple patients, approved and accepted by The Joint Commission in compliance with preferred practice standards in ophthalmology, the safe handling and administration of multidose eyedrops, and cost benefits of a multidose eyedrop approach.

Design, Setting, and Patients  Using a policy and procedural approach, we petitioned The Joint Commission for approval and evaluated the cost benefits of implementation of a multidose process for eyedrop administration in patients undergoing surgery and treatment at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, Provo.

Results  The Joint Commission approved our policy and procedural approach, implemented in April 2012. Cost savings to both patients and the facility were significant. Costs to patients undergoing a single cataract operation were decreased as much as $283.85. Costs to the facility were decreased by $330.91 per cataract case.

Conclusions and Relevance  Approval of our policy and processes indicates that The Joint Commission validates our policy and its adherence to accepted preferred practice guidelines of safe handling and administration of multidose eyedrops and establishes precedence that may be followed by other eye care facilities and health care organizations in the future. Our policy provides a safe and effective process for administering eyedrop medications to patients as well as controlling excessive health care costs to both patients and health care facilities.