About Medication Errors

What is a Medication Error?

The Council defines a "medication error" as follows:

"A medication error is any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer. Such events may be related to professional practice, health care products, procedures, and systems, including prescribing, order communication, product labeling, packaging, and nomenclature, compounding, dispensing, distribution, administration, education, monitoring, and use."

The Council urges medication errors researchers, software developers, and institutions to use this standard definition to identify errors.