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Prevention of Medication Errors in the Older Adult Patient

This activity is sponsored by Postgraduate Healthcare Education, LLC (PHE) and supported by The Mylan Institute of Pharmacy through an educational grant from Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.


Joshua J. Neumiller, PharmD, CDE, FASCP
Assistant Professor
College of Pharmacy
Washington State University
Spokane, Washington

Cynthia F. Corbett, PhD, RN
Professor & Associate Dean for Research
College of Nursing
Washington State University
Spokane, Washington


Joshua J. Neumiller, PharmD, CDE, FASCP, has no relevant affiliations or financial relationships with a commercial interest to disclose.

Cynthia F. Corbett, PhD, RN, has no relevant affiliations or financial relationships with a commercial interest to disclose.

Susanne Batesko, RN, BSN, Michele Salernitano, and Robin Carrino, as well as the planners, managers, and other individuals, not previously disclosed, who are in a position to control the content of Postgraduate Healthcare Education (PHE) continuing education (CE) activities hereby state that they have no relevant conflicts of interest and no financial relationships or relationships to products or devices during the past 12 months to disclose in relation to this activity. We are committed to providing participants with a quality learning experience and to improve clinical outcomes without promoting the financial interests of a proprietary business.


acpePostgraduate Healthcare Education, LLC is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.
UAN:0430-0000-13-028-H05-P; 0430-0000-13-028-H05-T
Credits: 2.0 hours (0.20 ceu)


October 1, 2013


October 31, 2015

Type of Activity:




Fee Information:

There is no fee for this educational activity.

Estimated time to complete activity:

120 minutes


This accredited activity has been designed for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.


During the period October 1, 2013 through October 31, 2015, participants must 1) read the learning objectives and faculty disclosures; 2) study the educational activity; and 3) complete the posttest and the evaluation form. To answer the questions, click on your selected choice for each answer then proceed to the next question. Once completed, click on Submit Posttest at the bottom of the page. Your posttest will automatically be graded. If you successfully complete the posttest (score of 70% or higher), your statement of credit will be made available immediately. Click on View Certificate and print the statement of credit for your records. If you receive a score lower than 70%, you will receive a message notifying you that you did not pass the posttest. You will have 2 opportunities to pass the posttest.


Preventing, identifying, and resolving medication discrepancies and medication errors are critical components of pharmaceutical care, particularly for older adults. There is a variety of factors that place older adults at risk for experiencing a medication error. Such factors include undergoing a transition in care (such as transitioning from hospital to home), receiving multiple medications (polypharmacy), and having multiple prescribers (polyprescribing) — factors and situations frequently encountered by older adults. Medication errors can occur at any point in the medication-use process and in any setting. To assist pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to further understand the importance of their role in preventing medication errors for older adults, this article discusses factors and situations that can contribute to the occurrence of medication discrepancies and medication errors and offers strategies that can be used to prevent them.


Upon completion of this activity, participants should be better able to:

  1. Identify factors and situations most likely to contribute to medication discrepancies and medication errors in older adults;
  2. Discuss the impact of medication discrepancies and medication errors on health care utilization, health care costs, and health outcomes;
  3. List resources, recommendations, and guidelines available to mitigate or eliminate the potential for medication discrepancies and medication errors in this population; and
  4. Implement strategies to reduce medication discrepancies and medication errors in older persons.


Please ensure the computer system you plan to use meets the following minimum requirements:

  • Operating System: Windows 98 or higher & Macintosh 2.2 or higher
  • Internet Browser (Mac &/ Windows): Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher, Google Chrome, Safari 5.0.6 or higher, Firefox 3.0.3 or higher & Opera 5 or higher
  • Broadband Internet connection: Cable, High-speed DSL & any other medium that is internet accessible
  • Peripherals: Computer speakers or headphones
  • Monitor Screen Resolution: 320 x 480 or higher
  • Media Viewing Requirements: Adobe Reader, Microsoft PowerPoint, Flash Player & HTML5

Disclosure of Unlabeled Use and Disclaimer:

The opinions expressed in the educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Postgraduate Healthcare Education , LLC or Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. As the sponsor of this educational activity, Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. does not control the author or the contents of this presentation. Participants have an implied responsibility to use the newly acquired information to enhance patient outcomes and their own professional development, The information presented in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patients’ conditions and possible contraindications on dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer’s product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities.

The author and publisher of this continuing education program have made all reasonable efforts to ensure that all information contained herein is accurate in accordance with the latest available scientific knowledge at the time of acceptance for publication. However, because information regarding drugs (their administration, dosages, contraindications, adverse reactions, interactions, special warnings, precautions, etc.) is subject to constant change, the reader is advised to check the manufacturer’s package insert for information concerning recommended dosages and potential problems and cautions prior to dispensing or administering the drug. Special precautions should be taken when a drug is new, or highly toxic, or is unfamiliar to the dispenser or administrant. This educational activity may contain discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Neither the publisher nor sponsor promotes the use of any agent outside of approved labeling. Statements made in this monograph have not been evaluated by the FDA. Nutritional products discussed are not intended for the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease.

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