Medication Errors

Pharmacist CEU
Contact Hours: 2.0 (0.2 CEUs)

Course Summary

Medical errors are a significant problem in the healthcare system. One of the most pervasive medical errors that are responsible for considerable patient harm is medication error. A medication error may occur at any point from prescription, administration, and through monitoring of a drug. Medication errors may be reduced or prevented with an understanding of the root causes of medication errors, followed by the implementation of policies, procedures, or systemic changes that can address these root causes and create a safer health care system for patients. This course is registered with ACPE as a -05 patient safety course.

Course Objectives

Identify and define medication errors

Identify the root causes of medication errors

Describe and know how to reduce and prevent medication errors

Identify and Describe the pharmacist’s role in educating patients to help patients participate in preventing medication errors

I. Introduction

II. Medication Errors: Definition and Scope

III. Types of Medication Errors

1. Prescribing Errors
2. Transcription Errors
3. Preparation and Administration Errors
4. Dispensing and Monitoring Errors

IV. High-Alert Medications

V. Root Causes of Medication Errors

1. Lack of Training or Education
2. Unavailability of Guidelines for Medication Administration
3. Interruptions
4. Fragmentation of Medication Information and Poor Communication
5. Failure to Follow the Rights of Medication Administration
6. Time Constraints

VI. Medication Error Reduction Strategies

1. Standardized Medication Use Protocols
2. Computerized Systems
3. Education to Fill Knowledge Gaps
4. Pharmacy Workflow Strategies
5. Pharmacist-led Educational Interventions
6. Pharmacist-led Medication Reconciliation Programs
7. “Rights” of Medication Administration
8. High-Alert Medications in Acute Care Settings
9. Awareness of Error-Prone Abbreviations
10. Medication Errors Reporting Program (MERP)
11. Patient Education
12. Pharmacist Involvement with Over-the-counter (OTC) Medications

VII. Reporting Medication Errors

VIII. Disclosing Medication Errors to the Patient

IX. Summary

How to Earn Credit:
To earn credit for this course, participants must:
  1. Read the course objectives and faculty planner disclosure
  2. Read the course material
  3. Complete the post-test with a minimum score of 70% and complete the course evaluation form.
  4. Results are automatically submitted to CPE Monitor

Faculty Planner Disclosure

The following individuals were involved in the development of this activity: Susan DePasquale, MSN, PMHNP-BC, Amanda Mayer, PharmD, and Jeff Goldberg, PharmD. There are no financial relationships relevant to this activity to report or disclose by any of the individuals involved in the development of this activity.

Unlabeled Use Disclosures

The information provided in this course is general in nature and it is solely designed to provide participants with continuing education credit(s). This course and materials are not meant to substitute for the independent, professional judgment of any participant regarding that participant’s professional practice, including but not limited to patient assessment, diagnosis, treatment and/or health management. Medical and pharmacy practices, rules, and laws vary from state to state, and this course does not cover the laws of each state; therefore, participants must consult the laws of their state as they relate to their professional practice. Healthcare professionals, including pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, must consult with their employer, healthcare facility, hospital, or other organization, for guidelines, protocols, and procedures they are to follow. The information provided in this course does not replace those guidelines, protocols, and procedures but is for academic purposes only, and this course’s limited purpose is for the completion of continuing education credits. Participants are advised and acknowledge that information related to medications, their administration, dosing, contraindications, adverse reactions, interactions, warnings, precautions, or accepted uses are constantly changing, and any person taking this course understands that such person must make an independent review of medication information prior to any patient assessment, diagnosis, treatment and/or health management. Any discussion of off-label use of any medication, device, or procedure is informational only and such uses are not endorsed hereby. Nothing contained in this course represents the opinions, views, judgments, or conclusions of LLC. LLC is not liable or responsible to any person for any inaccuracy, error, or omission with respect to this course, or course material.

Computer Hardware/Software Requirements

Please ensure the device you plan to use meets these requirements and specifications:

  • Operating System: Windows 7,8,10, or 11 /Mac OS X 10.9 or later/iOS/Android
  • Supported Browsers: Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera
  • A connection to the internet
  • For Live Webinars or Conferences: GoToWebinar application for iOS, Android, Mac, or PC. You cannot 'call into' a live conference.

  • Target Audience: Pharmacist
  • Contact Hours: 2.0 (0.2 CEUs)
  • Activity Release Date: 9/6/2022
  • Activity Expiration Date: 9/6/2025
  • Activity Type: Knowledge
  • UAN: 0669-0000-22-035-H05-P
  • Topic: Patient Safety
  • CeBroker Number: 20-943412


Susan DePasquale, MSN, FPMHNP-BC


Amanda Mayer, PharmD



The logo for the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)., LLC is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

There is an article on this course on our blog: Reducing Medication Errors: A Comprehensive Guide for Pharmacists
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