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[Comment] Medication Without Harm: WHO’s Third Global Patient Safety Challenge

In 1960, Alphonse Chapanis, turned his attention from engineering to health care. In a study of medication-related errors in a 1100-bed hospital,1 he and his colleague identified seven sources of such errors potentially leading to harm to a patient: medicine omitted, or given to the wrong patient, at the wrong dose, as an unintended extra dose, by the wrong route, at the wrong time, or as the wrong drug entirely. Almost 60 years later, these same types of errors still happen worldwide. Later that year in a follow-up policy paper,2 Chapanis identified four areas of recommendations that could prevent harm and remain relevant today: written communication, medication procedures, the working environment, training, and education.

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