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High-Alert Medications Insulin and Vasopressors: Practical Strategies in Pursuit of Safety


Pharmacy Technicians: 1.25 contact hours (0.125 CEUs)

Pharmacists: 1.25 contact hours (0.125 CEUs)

Released: December 22, 2022

Expiration: December 22, 2023

No longer available for credit.


Provided by

Provided by ProCE, LLC in partnership with the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP).

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Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP)

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Additional Information

A product of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP)

Program Medium

This program has been made available online.

NOTE: If you attended this live CE activity AND received CE credit (i.e. a Pharmacist or Pharmacy Technician CE statement of credit with ACPE UAN 0221-9999-21-287-L05-P/T), you are not allowed to also receive credit for this home-study on-demand web activity.

Activity Description

Although most medications in healthcare today have a wide margin of safety, there remains some which can cause serious harm or death if they are misused. To reduce the risk of error with these “high-alert” medications, special precautions and high leverage strategies should be implemented to avoid serious patient safety events. Many organizations have taken steps to identify these medications, but many are still less than confident that they have taken all the necessary precautions with high-alert drugs against serious patient harm.

Join the ISMP faculty as we examine and define the importance of high-alert medications as part of routine patient care and review the results of ISMP Medication Safety Self Assessment® for High-Alert Medications with particular attention to vasopressors and insulin. Faculty will review specific safety characteristics of each these important drug classes, describe self-assessment findings related to the use of these medications, and discuss the necessary strategies for harm prevention when using these medications.

Target Audience

The target audience for this activity includes pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. 

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • Define high-alert medications and their impact on patient safety.
  • Describe the low scoring assessment items for insulin from the ISMP Medication Safety Self Assessment® for High-Alert Medications.
  • Cite at least two effective strategies each for harm prevention for vasopressors and insulin.


Rita Jew, PharmD, MBA, BCPPS, FASHP, Vice President of Operations, ISMP
Matthew Grissinger, RPh, FISMP, FASCP, Director of Error Reporting Programs, ISMP


It is the policy of ProCE, LLC to ensure balance, independence, objectivity and scientific rigor in all of its continuing education activities. Faculty must disclose to participants any significant financial interest or affiliation with companies that manufacture or market products discussed during their presentation. Rita Jew and Matthew Grissinger do not have any relevant commercial and/or financial relationships to disclose.

CE Accreditation

Release Date: December 22, 2021
Expiration Date: December 22, 2023

Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians

This CE activity is jointly provided by ProCE, LLC and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP). ProCE is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. ACPE Universal Activity Number 0221-9999-21-287-H05-P/T has been assigned to this knowledge-based home-study CE activity. This activity is approved for 1.25 contact hour (0.125 CEU) in states that recognize ACPE providers. This CE activity is provided at no cost to participants. Statements of completion will be issued online at upon completion of the evaluation and post-test with a score of 70% or higher. Proof of completion will be posted in NABP CPE Monitor profiles. No partial credit will be given.


This CE activity is supported by an educational grant from Baxter. The material presented in this CE activity does not reflect the views of ProCE, LLC or the commercial sponsor. These materials may discuss uses and dosages for therapeutic products, processes, procedures and inferred diagnoses that have not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. A qualified health care professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product discussed. All readers and continuing education participants should verify all information and data before treating patients or employing any therapies described in this continuing education activity.