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A component of the Canadian Medication Incident Reporting and Prevention System (CMIRPS).

What is a Medication Error?

A medication error is a mistake with medication, or a problem that could cause a mistake with medication. "Medication error" is another name for one kind of medication error. Medication errors include obvious things like receiving the wrong medication or dose, but might also include problems like a confusing label that might lead to someone receiving the wrong medication. Medication errors may involve use of prescription and non-prescription medications, natural health products, imported products and devices or equipment used to administer medications.

Medication errors can happen in hospitals, nursing homes, doctors' offices, clinics, pharmacies and even at home. Medication errors can happen when medications are prescribed, dispensed or taken.

For a more detailed definition of a medication error and related terms, go to the CMIRPS definition page on ISMP Canada.

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