Thursday, 22 September 2011 19:46

Hot Topics

Thursday, 11 August 2011 18:25

Medication Safety Tools

More Medication Safety Resources

Medication safety tips and education provided by other
organizations dedicated to patient safety:                                                                 

Get additional medication safety tips and education here                                                                                                

Wednesday, 10 August 2011 19:21

Top 10 Reasons to Suspect a Pharmacy Error

topten spot-smSometimes you need to look for clues that could alert you to a mistake with your medication. Check it out with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist before taking your medicine if:

Monday, 13 June 2011 19:55

Discussion about Medication Safety

Michael R. Cohen on The Power Hour with Joyce Riley – June 10, 2011

Are you taking charge of your medicines? If not, you could be putting your health at risk. Proper medication administration is a multi-tier effort that includes you and your health care team. Knowing about the medicines you take today could save you a lot of grief tomorrow.

To take charge of your medicines, be sure to do the following:

  1. Make a list of every medication you take, including over-the-counter medications and supplements. Keep the list with you at all times and show the list to your doctor, nurse, pharmacist or other healthcare professional any time you receive health care. Useful forms and a wallet card are available on the "It's Safe to Ask" site of the Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety.
  2. Before taking any new medicine, check with your pharmacist to be sure it won't interact with something else you are taking. This is important even for medicines that you buy without a prescription. Even natural products, like herbal remedies, could interact with your medication.
  3. Try to use one pharmacy for all your medication needs. This way, the pharmacist can keep track of your medications and check for interactions.
  4. Never share your prescribed medication with someone else, and never take someone else's prescription medication.
  5. Avoid confusion — leave all medicines in their original containers.
  6. Keep your medicines in a cool, dry place — not the bathroom. Medicines can be affected by temperature and moisture.
  7. Check expiration dates. Potency may be affected in expired drugs and certain expired medications can be harmful to your health.
  8. Whenever you get a new prescription, be sure that you understand all the important information about your prescription. Things you should discuss with your pharmacist, nurse, doctor or other health professional include:
    • The name of your medication
    • Why you are taking it
    • What effects to expect
    • When and how to take it. For example, should you take the medication regularly or only when needed?
    • How long to take it
    • What to do if you miss a dose
    • Possible side effects or medication errors
    • Possible interactions with other medications or alcohol
    • Whether it may cause an allergic reaction
  9. Review your prescription with your doctor before you leave the doctor's office. If you cannot read the handwriting, ask your doctor to print the prescription.
  10. Always check your medicine(s) before leaving the pharmacy. Have your pharmacist go through the instructions on the prescription label with you. This gives the pharmacist another opportunity to double check the information with you directly. Tell your pharmacist if you have any concerns or if any of the information does not match what you were expecting to see or hear.
  11. Here are some things to think about when you are checking your medicine:
    • Is this my name on the prescription label?
    • Is this the medicine that my doctor prescribed for me? If you are to receive more than one box or container of the same medicine, are all the packages the same and do they all contain the same medicine?
    • Are there any unexplained changes in my prescription? For example, does the medicine or the package look different?
    • Have I been given the right dose of the medicine?
    • Have I been given the right amount of the medicine?
    • Have I been given information on the medicine and how it is used?
    • Do I understand the directions?
    • Have I been provided with all the medicines prescribed by my doctor (or for which I have requested a refill)?
  12. Don't be afraid to speak up if you think you are about to receive the wrong medicine from a pharmacy or when you are in hospital. Be sure that you are satisfied with how your concerns have been addressed before taking any medicine.
  13. Ask your pharmacist before cutting, splitting, crushing or opening a tablet or capsule. Some dosage forms are designed to be taken whole.

Following these steps may help you from being harmed by a mistake with your medicine. Don't delay, take charge of your medication today!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011 15:26

Acetaminophen Information for Consumers

Thursday, 12 May 2011 18:44

Report Submitted Successfully

































Thank you for your report. You are helping to prevent harmful medication incidents.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011 14:13

Tell Us About the Error

Thank you for reporting your error or medication safety concern to ISMP. Please answer the questions as completely and accurately as possible. Your answers will help us to better understand the type of errors that are happening, where and why they are happening, and how to help those people being affected.

Required Information:

Please describe what happened or what could happen due to your safety concern or error. Please review such topics as What Should be Reported, Who Should Report and other links in this section.

  1. Describe the error or adverse drug reaction. What went wrong?
  2. Was this an actual medication error that happened to you or a loved one, or are you expressing concern about a potential error that was discovered before it reached the patient?
  3. Type of practice site (hospital, private office, retail pharmacy, long-term care facility, etc).
  4. The name of all drugs and/or medical products related to the error.
  5. If known, the dosage form (capsule, tablet, injection, etc), concentration or strength, etc.

Be sure to include the names of all drugs involved. *Required

Please include any product photographs, scans of doctor's prescriptions, associated records, etc. that might help us understand your report. Be sure not to include any personally identifiable information such as your name, social security number, etc.

  • Image 1:
  • Image 2:
  • Image 3:
Approximate date of the error or event or discovery of the medication safety concern: *Required
How was the error/concern discovered? *Required
What was the final outcome to the person/patient involved in the error?
If an error or event happened, what was the age of the person affected at the time of the error/event?
What do you think should have been done to avoid this type of mistake or your safety concern?
Is this the first time you have reported an error, event, or concern on this website?

If an error or event happened...
Optional Information
Did any of the following happen to the person because of the error (check all that apply):

Had you, the person involved in the error, or their caregiver been provided with specific instructions regarding how to take the medicine?

If yes, who provided this information?

If yes, how were the instructions administered?
If yes, were the instructions easy to understand?

Who discovered the event?
Were you or the person affected by the error or bad reaction told about it by a healthcare provider?

Did you or the person affected by the error receive an apology from the healthcare provider(s) for the error?

Optional Personal InformationAll communications are strictly confidential. ISMP will not disclose your identity to any individuals or outside organizations without your expressed permission. However, we need to be able to communicate with you in case we have follow-up questions. Also, you will only receive an email confirmation of this report if you provide an email address below. If you do not provide any identifying information, please print the final report page for your records.

Person Submitting Report:
Our organization shares information with the FDA, in confidence, when we receive a report. Both organizations (ISMP, FDA) utilize these reports to identify and address drug-related problems by working with drug manufacturers, scientists and others. Please indicate which of the following organizations we may not share your report with (your information will be handled 100% securely and confidentially):

Your use of this website shall be deemed as your consent to be bound to the Terms and Conditions.

Friday, 25 February 2011 14:49

Make a Donation is a resource offered by The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), the only worldwide nonprofit organization devoted entirely to safe medication use and the prevention of medication errors. Through education and direct interaction, ISMP encourages the healthcare community to make changes that result in improved drug safety.

Without the generosity of hundreds of individuals and organizations, ISMP would not be able to pursue its mission. We appreciate your support.

cohen mike 4

Michael Cohen

President, ISMP

Please support our important work.

With your assistance, we will continue to build on our more than 30 years of experience helping healthcare practioners keep patients safe and lead efforts to improve the medication use process. For more information on ISMP's many activities, programs and accomplishments in the area of medication safety, please visit our main website


Some of the ISMP contributions to medication safety that have been made possible by generous donors and volunteers include:
  • Launching a continuous, voluntary, confidential medication error reporting system to learn about errors happening across the nation, understand their causes, and share "lessons learned" with the healthcare community;
  • Procuring hundreds of changes in error-prone medication names, labels, and packages that have reduced the risk of potentially serious mistakes;
  • Developing free self-assessment tools for healthcare facilities that have helped them analyze the effectiveness of their medication safety programs;
  • Publishing four medication safety newsletters for medical professionals and consumers that reach more than a million readers; and
  • Providing assistance in the development of federal and state legislation and regulations related to patient safety.
Thursday, 24 February 2011 19:51

Safe Medicine® Newsletter

ISMP's Safe Medicine is unique among consumer health education newsletters because it focuses on the prevention of medication errors. Every other month (six times a year), Safe Medicine teaches consumers how to become active partners with their healthcare practitioners and take a leading role in preventing medication errors. View a sample pdf newsletter.


ISMP's Safe Medicine consumer newsletter is designed specifically for:

  • Patients and caregivers
  • Ambulatory healthcare facilities
  • Business coalitions
  • Community healthcare centers
  • Disease management services
  • Employers
  • Health insurance companies
  • Individual subscriptions
  • Managed care organizations
  • Pharmacies
  • Physicians and group practices
  • Purchasing groups


Newsletter benefits

  • Produced every other month in a bright, lively layout and design
  • Easy-to-read articles presented in just two pages
  • Affordably priced
  • Available in a convenient electronic format, or purchase the content for your website or use in company newsletters
  • Provides practical advice from the most trusted source of information about preventing mistakes with medicines - ISMP
  • Adds value to existing health education programs by supplying much-needed information about a critical issue in healthcare - medication errors
  • Helps prevent needless tragedies related to medication errors
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