Medicine Safety

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 out of 10 adults in the United States take at least one medicine — and nearly a third take 5 or more different medicines. It is easy to understand how such a high rate of use can lead to confusion and errors, particularly in a hospital setting.

At UPMC, we have medicine safety measures in place to help ensure that you receive the right medicine in the right dose, in the right form, and at the right time. Across our health system, UPMC doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and other staff work together to use the latest technology and clinical guidelines for safe medicine use.

What You Can Do

Many medicine errors happen at key transition points — when you enter the hospital, move from one room to another, or leave the hospital to go home. You and your family can play an important role in helping to prevent mistakes by taking the following steps:

  1. Keep an accurate, up to date record of:
    • Any drug allergies you may have
    • Medicines you are taking, including:
      • Prescription medicines
      • Over-the-counter medicines
      • Vitamins and other supplements
  2. Provide your doctor, nurse, and pharmacist with a complete, updated list of medicines, vitamins, and supplements at the beginning of each visit or hospital admission.
  3. Speak up and report any safety concerns you have may about your medicines.

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences | Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit www.healthwise.org

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA | UPMC.com