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  • National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention

    Patient Safety Learning
    • USA
    • Toolkits and collections
    • Pre-existing
    • Original author
    • No
    • National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention
    • Health and care staff, Patient safety leads


    The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCC MERP) is an independent body composed of 27 national organisations.

    In 1995, the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) spearheaded the formation of the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention: Leading national health care organizations are meeting, collaborating, and cooperating to address the interdisciplinary causes of errors and to promote the safe use of medications.


    The mission of the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCC MERP) is to maximise the safe use of medications and to increase awareness of medication errors through open communication, increased reporting and promotion of medication error prevention strategies.


    • Stimulate the development and use of reporting and evaluation systems by individual health care organisations.
    • Stimulate reporting to a national system for review, analysis, and development of recommendations to reduce and ultimately prevent medication errors.
    • Examine and evaluate the causes of medication errors.
    • Increase awareness of medication errors and methods of prevention throughout the health care system.
    • Recommend strategies for system modifications, practice standards and guidelines, and changes in packaging and labelling.


    • Promote reporting, discussion and communication about safe medication use, medication errors and error-prone processes, and error-prevention strategies.
    • Develop and broadly disseminate NCC MERP's recommendations and other work products related to reporting, understanding, and prevention of medication errors.
    • Collaborate with other interested stakeholders to address special topics related to medication errors and patient safety initiatives.


    Medication error reporting

    • Heighten awareness of reporting systems available to or within health care organisations.
    • Stimulate and encourage reporting and sharing of medication errors both nationally and locally.
    • Develop standardization of classification systems for the collection of medication error reports so that databases will reflect reports and categorization systems.
    • Encourage systems and provide targeted feedback so that appropriate prevention strategies can be developed and implemented in facilities.

    Medication error understanding

    • Assess current knowledge of medication errors through ongoing efforts (for example, literature searches) to gather data associated with the scope of problems, types of errors, causes and sources of errors, and clinical and financial impact on patients and the healthcare delivery system.
    • Identify gaps in research that hinder the understanding of medication errors.
    • Promote research to expand knowledge regarding medication errors, their causes, and the effectiveness of interventions

    Medication error prevention

    • Encourage standardisation of processes to prevent error-prone aspects of drug procurement, prescribing, dispensing, administration, disposal.
    • Encourage shared accountability and systems-based solutions to enhance the safety of medication use and to minimise the potential for human error.
    • Promote/encourage the safe use and understanding of technology in the prevention of medication errors.
    • Increase awareness of the need for distinctive packaging, labeling, and nomenclature of products associated with actual or potential medication errors.
    • Educate consumers and patients regarding strategies to prevent medication errors for both prescription and nonprescription medications.
    • Educate health care professionals about causes of medication errors and strategies for prevention.
    National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention https://www.nccmerp.org/
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