Types of Medication Errors
The Council realized the need for a standardized categorization of errors.
On July 16, 1996, the NCC MERP adopted a Medication Error Index that classifies
an error according to the severity of the outcome. It is hoped that the
index will help health care practitioners and institutions to track medication
errors in a consistent, systematic manner.
The index considers factors such as whether the error reached the patient and, if the patient was harmed, to what degree. The Council encourages the use of the index in all health care delivery settings and by researchers and vendors of medication error
tracking software. The ISMP Medication Errors Reporting Program has implemented this index for use in its database.
Medication Error Index
Adopted July 16, 1996, revised Feb 20, 2001
Reference: Hartwig, S.C., Denger, S.D., & Schneider, P.J. (1991) Severity-indexed, incident report-based medication error-reporting program. Am J Hosp Pharm, 48. 2611-2616
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