Table 1

Seriousness classification of medication errors by Taxonomy of Medication Errors of the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCC MERP)

CategoryExplanation
ACircumstances or events that have the capacity to cause error
BAn error occurred but the error did not reach the patient (An “error of omission” does reach the patient)
CAn error occurred that reached the patient but did not cause patient harm
DAn error occurred that reached the patient and required monitoring to confirm that it resulted in no harm to the patient and/or required intervention to preclude harm
EAn error occurred that may have contributed to or resulted in temporary harm to the patient and required intervention
FAn error occurred that may have contributed to or resulted in temporary harm to the patient and required initial or prolonged hospitalization
GAn error occurred that may have contributed to or resulted in permanent patient harm
HAn error occurred that required intervention necessary to sustain life
IAn error occurred that may have contributed to or resulted in the patient's death
DefinitionsExplanation
HarmImpairment of the physical, emotional, or psychological function or structure of the body and/or pain resulting therefrom
MonitoringTo observe or record relevant physiological or psychological signs
InterventionMay include change in therapy or active medical/surgical treatment
Intervention necessary to sustain lifeIncludes cardiovascular and respiratory support (e.g., CPR, defibrillation, intubation, etc.)
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