Medication errors and unsafe practices are a leading cause of patient injury in healthcare systems around the world. Globally, medication errors cost health systems more than $42 billion USD each year and contribute to an estimated 2 million deaths worldwide. 

Why medication errors happen

Common sources of risk in community pharmacies include:

Environmental Factors

  • Noise
  • Pace of work
  • Season

Process Errors

  • Data entry
  • Pack, label, check, bag
  • Pick up or delivery

Organizational Factors

  • Patient consultation
  • Staffing
  • Training


  • Dosage
  • Lethality – cancer meds, insulin, opioids and anticoagulants (High Alert Medications)

How to prevent medication errors

Regular reporting can improve patient safety by enabling pharmacists to identify gaps or patterns in processes that are contributing to errors or near-miss events. In turn, this reporting process leads to an environment of continuous quality improvement in reducing the frequency of medication errors or near-miss events.

Watch webinar on demand: Want to learn more about preventing medication incidents and learning from data? Watch our on-demand webinar, Mission Impossible: Can Reporting Medication Errors and Learning from Data be Easier?


Medication Incidents infographic

Originally posted on Think Research