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Medicine Safety

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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.