Defining the Terms

Medication Error:

Any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm that should be preventable through multidisciplinary system controls involving pharmacists, physicians, nurses, and risk management personnel.

Adverse Drug Reaction:

Any unintended or undesired effect of a drug in a patient that may or may not cause a change in therapy or treatment of that side effect and may result in:

1. discontinuing the drug (therapeutic or diagnostic)

2. changing the drug therapy

3. modifying the dose (except minor adjustments)

4. admission to a hospital

5. longer stay in a health care facility

6. supportive treatment

7. significantly complicated diagnosis

8. negatively affected prognosis

9. temporary or permanent harm, disability, or death