All of us, at some point of time in our lives, will require medications to prevent or treat illness. However, medications that are incorrectly stored, prescribed, dispensed, or administered can cause serious harm. Unsafe medication practices and errors are the main cause of injury and preventable harm in healthcare systems worldwide. Across the world, the cost associated with medication errors has been estimated at $42 billion USD annually.
Mistakes can happen at various stages of the medication use process. These can occur due to factors such as poor medication systems and human factors. In addition, staff shortages and fatigue can affect the administration, monitoring, and prescribing of medications. Medication errors may also be caused by poor communication between doctors and patients. This can result in severe patient harm, disability, and even death.