Thursday, July 20, 2006

New Institute of Medicine report - Preventing Medication Errors

Preventing Medication Errors, released by the IOM today – part of the Quality Chasm series (to see the full text, click the “Read and Purchase” link and then click the red “Read this book online, free!” link toward the top left-hand corner).

Excerpt from overview: According to one estimate, in any given week four out of every five U.S. adults will use prescription medicines, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, or dietary supplements of some sort, and nearly one-third of adults will take five or more different medications... Preventing Medication Errors puts forward a national agenda for reducing medication errors based on estimates of the incidence and cost of such errors and evidence on the efficacy of various prevention strategies.

The report finds that medication errors are surprisingly common and costly to the nation, and it outlines a comprehensive approach to decreasing the prevalence of these errors. This approach will require changes from doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and others in the health care industry, from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other government agencies, from hospitals and other health-care organizations, and from patients.

Update: FDA response to the IOM report (7/20/06) noting current and future plans to address medication error


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