Reducing Medication Errors Through Naming, Labeling, and Packaging

Abstract

Errors due to look-alike or sound-alike medication names are common in the United States, and are responsible for thousands of deaths and millions of dollars in cost each year. Up to 25% of all medication errors are attributed to name confusion, and 33% to packaging and/or labeling confusion. Thousands of medication name pairs have been confused based on similar appearances or sounds when written or spoken, or have been identified as having the potential for confusion. Systems and recommendations have been developed that may reduce the occurrence of such errors.

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Correspondence to Adrienne Berman.

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Berman, A. Reducing Medication Errors Through Naming, Labeling, and Packaging. Journal of Medical Systems 28, 9–29 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1023/B:JOMS.0000021518.60670.10

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  • medication errors
  • look-alike names
  • sound-alike names
  • packaging
  • labeling