In 1996 the Institute of Medicine launched the Quality Chasm Series, a series of reports focused on assessing and improving the nation s quality of health care. Preventing Medication Errors is the newest volume in the series. Responding to the key messages in earlier volumes of the series To Err Is Human (2000), Crossing the Quality Chasm (2001), and Patient Safety (2004) this book sets forth an agenda for improving the safety of medication use. It begins by providing an overview of the system for drug development, regulation, distribution, and use. Preventing Medication Errors also examines the peer-reviewed literature on the incidence and the cost of medication errors and the effectiveness of error prevention strategies. Presenting data that will foster the reduction of medication errors, the book provides action agendas detailing the measures needed to improve the safety of medication use in both the short- and long-term. Patients, primary health care providers, health care organizations, purchasers of group health care, legislators, and those affiliated with providing medications and medication- related products and services will benefit from this guide to reducing medication errors.