This needs posting: All Sites Nursing News | New Internet Site to Promote Drug Safety

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices recently debuted an Internet site dedicated to promoting patient safety with medications. The goal of the site is to encourage consumers to play a more significant role in the prevention of medication errors. The Institute of Medicine estimates that in any given week, four out of every five U.S. adults will use prescription medicines, over-the-counter drugs, or dietary supplements of some sort, and nearly one-third of adults will take five or more different medications.

The site features drug alerts and drug safety articles aimed at increasing patient awareness and promoting dialogue between patients, prescribers, and pharmacists. The site features an archive of earlier alerts and allows visitors to search for information about their specific drug or safety concern.

A series of medication administration guidelines feature important tips and illustrations to assist patients with diverse medication concerns, including safely administering ear and eye drops, safely removing ear wax, correctly using metered dose inhalers, and applying vaginal antifungal products. Other helpful resources include lists of medications that cannot be crushed, commonly confused drug names, and common abbreviations that can cause drug errors. Links are also provided for other patient safety resources outside the Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

Consumers can create a profile and enter the names of all their medications, allowing them to be immediately alerted when a safety concern arises with one of their drugs.

Consumers can also confidentially report medication errors or safety concerns directly to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices. Those who use the reporting system are also given the option of having their information confidentially reported to the Food and Drug Administration, the United States Pharmacopeia, and the drug manufacturer for further review. The reporting system allows more than just check boxes or narrative descriptions consumers are also encouraged to include photographs and scanned documents or images that help to describe their specific medication reaction or safety concern.