Preventing Medication Errors - CME60150

Preventing Medication Errors

by Zane Robinson Wolf, RN, PhD, FAAN and Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, CPE, DABPN (CME Contributor/Reviewer)
(4.4 / 240 ratings )

This course is credentialed for:
Medicine and Surgery (2.00 Credits)

Price: $24.00
CE-PRO Price: $12.00


More than 80% of adults in the United States use a vitamin or mineral supplement and at least one type of medication (prescription or OTC drug or herbal supplement). In addition, at least 30% of these individuals take at least five different medications. Medication errors may occur with any of these products during ingestion, absorption or excretion, and in any healthcare setting. Medication errors harm 1.5 million people per year and cost $3.5 billion per year. Medication errors occur for several reasons. There may be a failure to communicate the drug orders, the handwriting on the prescription may be illegible, confusion may occur between drugs with similar names, the packaging may not be proper, or there may be confusion about dosing units. Medication errors usually are not due to the faulty judgment of a single individual, but often indicate a flawed system that has inadequate backup to detect mistakes.


The goal of this program is to discuss approaches to prevent medication errors that are both system-based and human performance-based, and The Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goals as they pertain to medication errors. After you study the information presented here, you will be able to —
  • Explain the interdisciplinary nature of the medication error problem.
  • Examine sources and types of medication errors.
  • Relate theories and strategies to reduce the occurrence of medication errors.
  • Define sentinel event, root cause analysis, and failure mode, effects, and criticality analysis.
  • List the advantages of root cause analysis.
  • Describe the impact of medication errors on healthcare providers.

Educational Gap: Health professionals are not able to identify and deal with medication errors.

This course was reviewed and approved by Laura Grooms, MD, representing the University of Louisville School of Medicine Continuing Health Sciences Education.

Course Originally Released on: 9/29/2012
Date of Most Recent Review: 9/29/2012
Course Termination/Update Date: 9/29/2015

Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no real or perceived conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. Gannett Education guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.

Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.

This course completion will be electronically reported to CE Broker as required per Florida Statute 456.025(7). Click here to view your CE Broker transcript and check the status of your CE requirements with a FREE 7-day CE Broker trial subscription. It may take up to 24 hours for the course to appear on your CE Broker transcript.

Purpose and Target Audience

University of Louisville The purpose of this educational module is to provide timely and current information on this important healthcare topic to the physician and other healthcare professionals eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM.

Physician Continuing Education Credit

The University of Louisville Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development office designates for a maximum of 2.00 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Course Completion Requirements and Certificate of Completion

After reading the presentation, complete the course test online. To successfully complete the course, you must achieve a score of 75% on the multiple-choice exam. You may retake the test as many times as necessary to pass. To complete the test process and receive your certificate of completion, you must complete a brief survey about the course material and process. After completing the evaluation, you may immediately print your CE certificate of completion or save a pdf of it for your records. You may also request a copy to be sent to you by mail. Certificates will reflect the time and date the user passes the test (Eastern Time, U.S.). In the event of loss, there is no charge for a replacement copy of a CE certificate.

Joint Sponsor Statement

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the University of Louisville and Gannett Education. The University of Louisville is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing education for physicians.

Skill Requirements

Basic Computer & Browser Skills

Hardware and Software Requirements

High-speed internet connection (Broadband, Cable or DSL)
256 MBs or more of RAM
Windows 2000 or higher
MacOS 10.1 or higher

Technical Support/Questions

If you need technical support or have questions about the course, please e-mail or call us at 800-866-0919.

For questions about the Internet CME activity content, please contact University of Louisville Continuing Health Sciences Education at

Special Services

If you need special accommodations due to a disability or require an alternative form of course materials email or call us at 800-866-0919. Gannett Healthcare Group is committed to providing whatever special assistance its users require to complete this educational activity.


The content contributors have no relevant financial relationships with any commercial interests.

Staff and Advisory Board Disclosure Statement

The CME and PD staff and Advisory Board have nothing to disclose with the exception of Dr. Douglas Coldwell: Sirtex, Inc. (Speaker) and DFine, Inc. (Consultant).


There is no commercial support provided for this online educational activity.

University of Louisville CHSE Privacy Policy

All information provided by course participants is confidential and will not be shared with any other parties for any reason without permission.


All of the content in this educational activity is copyrighted by Gannett Healthcare Group. The University of Louisville has obtained permission from Gannett Healthcare Group to use the content in this educational activity.

Original Release and Termination Dates

Medium or Combination of Media Used: Online text
Method of Physician Participation: Online
CME Estimated Time to Complete Activity: 2.00 Hour

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Eva B - Oxford, FL  ·  Apr 15, 2014
Give rationales with printable test
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ARLENE K - Downingtown, PA  ·  Mar 12, 2014
well organized, informative, timely
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Barbara G - Brandon, FL  ·  Feb 25, 2014
This course is very helpful in my job.It is easy to read and understand .Very informative
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Jennifer K - Glen Cove, NY  ·  Feb 02, 2014
Very informative and relevant to current practice.
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Rachel J - San Francisco, CA  ·  Jan 30, 2014
very informative. easy to read and included some interesting case studies.
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Price: $24.00
CE-PRO Price: $12.00