Author | Roger W. Anderson, Dr, PH


Viewpoint: Many drug errors can be prevented

November 06, 2006

Medication safety has always been an important issue, but the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) recent report showing that preventable medication errors injure at least 1.5 million Americans annually illustrates the seriousness of this predicament. The authors of the IOM report, Preventing Medication Errors: The Quality Chasm Series, even acknowledge that this is likely a conservative assessment of drug safety gaps. The report noted that each year 530,000 preventable adverse drug events-injuries due to medication-affect outpatient Medicare patients, 380,000 to 450,000 occur in hospitals, and another 800,000 in long-term care facilities.