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Medicine Safety

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 out of 10 adults in the U.S. take at least 1 medicine. Nearly a third take 5 or more medicines. It's easy to see how such a high rate of use can lead to confusion and errors, particularly in a hospital setting.

At UPMC, our safety measures help ensure you get the right medicine in the right dose, in the right form, and at the right time. Our doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and other staff work together to use the latest technology and clinical guidelines for safe medicine use. They do this across our health system.

UPMC's processes for reconciling medicines provide an accurate list of drugs for use by health care workers and you. This can reduce medicine errors, improve safety, and lead to quality outcomes.

What Steps You Can Take

Many errors happen at key transition points. These can include when you enter the hospital, move from one room to another, or go home.

You and your family can play a vital role in helping to prevent mistakes. Keep an accurate, up-to-date record of:

  • Any drug allergies you may have.

Also keep an updated record of medicines you take, including:

  • Prescription drugs.
  • Over-the-counter medicines.
  • Vitamins and other supplements.

Give your doctor, nurse, and pharmacist the complete, updated list of the medicines, vitamins, and supplements you take. You can do this at the start of each visit or hospital admission.

Speak up and report any safety concerns you may have about your medicines.