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This page has been archived. It still supports good pharmacy practice; however, you may find some outdated terminology or broken links. 

Errors and near misses

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Pharmacy guide

It’s really important to report, review, learn from and act from patient safety incidents such as medicine errors or near miss errors to support patient safety. 

Use this guide to help you deal with:

  • Near miss errors (NMEs) (sometimes referred to as ‘good catches’ or 'near misses') 
  • Medicine errors that have reached a person, that may or may not have caused harm to them.

Our near miss error log (NMEL) and near miss error reflection and improvement tool can be used to support clinical governance in pharmacy, and promote an open culture of recording of NMEs so that pharmacy teams can reflect and learn from them. 

You could use this guide alongside existing procedures, or use this guidance to develop, improve or implement one.

First Published: 09 February 2022


Sections on this page 

  • Why is it important to report medicine errors and NMEs?
  • Types of medicine errors and NMEs, possible causes and considerations for review 
  • Preventing medicine errors and NMEs
  • How should I deal with NMEs?
  • Near miss error log - including how to fill in and practical tips on using the log
  • NME reflection and improvement tool - including how to fill in and practical tips on using the tool
  • How should I deal with medicine errors that have reached a person?
  • Reporting medicine errors
  • Legal defences – community and hospital
  • Further information

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