Quality & Patient Safety

Experts push to include medication indication on prescription labels

Patient Safety Monitor, October 1, 2016

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There was once a time when physicians played an authoritarian role. It was thought that the best medical outcomes were achieved when patients were left almost entirely in the dark, submitting to the medical expertise of the doctor.

Today's healthcare culture couldn't be farther from that old model. The shift toward patient-centered care has altered the relationship between physicians and patients. Increasingly, patients are taking on a greater role when it comes to medical decision-making, and physicians are embracing that new dynamic.

According to experts, there is one area of healthcare that could be restructured to further the transition to patient-centered care: medication labeling. There are currently five "rights" for safe medication ordering and use (right patient, right drug, right dose, right time, and right route), but patient safety advocates in Boston have proposed a sixth: right indication.

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