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Weight Based Audit Program for Controlled Veterinary Medications

Start Your Vet Clinic’s Journey to Reduce Plastic Use!

Injectable controlled substances play a pivotal role in veterinary practices, and require meticulous oversight to prevent any unexplained volume loss.

In some veterinary clinics, these medications are traditionally measured during audits by extracting them into plastic needle/syringes and comparing volumes to previously recorded data. LOOP advocates for the adoption of a weight-based methodology, eliminating the need to draw up medications and instead relying on their weights for precise measurement.

The weight-based method holds the potential to significantly reduce plastic usage in your practice while enhancing the efficiency of your staff. For a comprehensive guide, please read on. Happy auditing!

Skip to the bottom for a quick summary and video.

Materials / Methods

Download a copy of the LOOP Medication Record Log (PDF).

LOOP Medication Record Log

Download a copy of the LOOP Controlled Drug Audit Log (PDF).

LOOP Controlled Drug Audit Log

You will need to acquire a gram scale, preferably with a precision of +/- 0.01g.


Medication Record Log Procedure

  1. Complete patient / client information.
  2. Place the required injectable medication on the scale and record the weight in the ‘Start Weight (g)’ column for your patient.
  3. Draw up patient’s medication dose, recording volume in the ‘Amount Drawn (mL) column (account for hub loss if applicable).
  4. Place the injectable medication bottle on the scale again and record this weight in the ‘End Weight (g)’ column.
  5. The ‘Start Weight (g)’ for the next patient should be equal to the previous ‘End Weight (g)’ column. Investigate any significant weight discrepancies.
  6. When your medication record log is completed, begin a new log, placing the last ‘End Weight (g)’ and ‘Volume Remaining (mL)’ at the top of the new log for easy reference.
  7. Note: Designate a specific area in your practice for weighing and auditing medications. Changes in weighing location may affect weights noted on your scale.

Audit Log Procedure

The audit log form is exclusively for auditing procedures and should be stored in a designated audit binder.

  1. Fill out information in the first two columns of the audit form, e.g., ‘Drug Name and Strength’: Butorphanol [10mg/ml], ‘Dispensed Bottle #/Name’: Bottle #1.
  2. When an audit is to be performed, record the last ‘End Weight (g)’ from the Medication Record Log in the ‘Last Weight on Sheet (g)’ column of your audit log.
  3. Weigh the medication bottle you wish to audit and record this weight in the ‘Audit Weight (g)’ column. Ensure ‘Last Weight on Sheet (g)’ and ‘Audit Weight (g)’ values are the same.
  4. If your practice maintains stock amounts, record the stock bottle name/number and total volume in the appropriate columns of the audit log (e.g., ‘Stock Bottle #/Name’: Bottle #2, Bottle #3, Bottle #4; ‘Stock Volume (mL)’: 10ml, 10ml, 10ml = 30ml).
  5. Two staff members completing the audit must initial the form.
  6. Have your designated registrant sign off on the form and note/investigate any discrepancies, if applicable.

NOTE: If any volume discrepancies require investigation, please refer to your local veterinary governing body for further review and instructions. Your diligence in reporting and addressing such issues is crucial to maintaining our standards of accuracy and accountability within the veterinary industry.

Video: Weight Based Controlled Drug Auditing in Your Veterinary Practice

Watch a short video on how easy it is to implement the LOOP Project’s weight based audit program for controlled medications in your clinic, and help us make waves of change in the vet industry!

Quick Summary

Medication Record Log

  • Utilize a ‘Medication Record Log’ for documenting patient and medication info as required by the local veterinary governing body.
  • Medications weighed before/after use; weights documented in the log.
  • Ensure no discrepancies between recorded weights.

Controlled Drug Audits

  • Conduct audits as per schedule set by the local veterinary governing body.
  • Use a ‘Controlled Drug Audit Log’ for audit documentation.
  • Weigh opened controlled medications and compare weight with the last ‘Medication Record Log’ entry. Both entry weights should match.
  • Log and record stock medications, if applicable.
  • Two staff members completing the audit initial the audit form; Designated Registrant signs off.
  • Report any discrepancies to the local veterinary governing body.