National Safety Month: Medication Safety

Medication errors can occur in a medical center, senior living facility, or at home. Hospitals, pharmacies, and facilities have checks in place to minimize medication errors. When getting a refill or a new prescription, be sure to verify:

  • Your name is on the bottle.
  • The name of the doctor.
  • The name of the medication, since there are lots of look-alike/sound-alike drug names.
  • The dose; a dose for a child is different than for an adult.
  • The route; for example, eye drops prescribed for the eyes and not the ear.
  • The expiration date (Expired medicine should be thrown out.)

Medications need to be organized. It is important that you have a system so that you know when to take each medicine. One example would be a pill storage container with individual slots. These can be organized by week, Monday-Friday, or have days broken down into AM and PM slots. By having a system, you can help prevent missing your medication.

Medication safety is not limited to the patient. It is important to store medications in places where children can’t reach them. After taking the medicine, make sure the child-lock is secure. It is important to be smart about your medication so that you and those around you stay safe.

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