The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) offers a wide range of resources and information to help healthcare practitioners in a variety of healthcare settings prevent errors and ensure that medications are used safely. All of the ISMP tools listed below are free, downloadable, and easy to use.

In addition, ISMP offers webinars on timely topics in medication safety, educational symposia at leading healthcare meetings, and knowledgeable and articulate speakers from varied health disciplines who can provide expert advice and education on patient safety issues.

Healthcare practitioners can also browse ISMP’s online product catalog for videos, books, and other resources.


FDA Safety Alerts
FDA safety alerts for drugs and medication-related medical devices.

NAN Alerts
National Alert Network (NAN) messages to healthcare providers about medication errors that have recently caused serious harm or death.

QuarterWatch Reports
These reports monitor serious adverse drug events reported to the FDA. They identify drug safety trends, report potential safety issues, and seek to improve the system.


High-Alert Medications Consumer Leaflets
CoConsumer medication information leaflets for select high alert drugs that offer important safety tips for taking each medication safely. The leaflets are available for FREE download and can be reproduced for free distribution to consumers.

ISMP Video Newsletter
The ISMP video newsletter series, produced in partnership with the Temple University School of Pharmacy, features interviews with experts on key medication safety issues.

Textbook Errata
Corrections for errors in published medical literature.


ISMP Guidelines
Documents with suggestions from ISMP on improving medication safety practices.


Confused Drug Names
Drug names that have been mistaken for one another, including look-alike and sound-alike name pairs.

Oral Dosage Forms That Should Not Be Crushed, sometimes known as the "Do Not Crush" list. From John F. Mitchell, Pharm.D, FASHP, Medication Safety Consultant, Canton, MI An updated list in PDF form.

Error-Prone Abbreviations
Abbreviations, symbols, and dose designations that are frequently misinterpreted and involved in harmful medication errors. These items should NEVER be used when communicating medical information.

High-Alert Medications
Drugs that bear a heightened risk of causing significant patient harm when used in error. Use this list to determine which medications require special safeguards to reduce the risk of errors.

Standard Concentrations of Neonatal Drug Infusion
A collaborative effort between the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) and Vermont Oxford Network (VON).

Tall Man Letters
The sets of look-alike drug names in this tool have been modified using “tall man” letters to help draw attention to the dissimilarities in their names. Several studies have shown that highlighting sections of drug names using tall man (mixed case) letters can help distinguish similar drug names, making them less prone to mix-ups.

Positions and Support

ISMP Positions and Viewpoints
ISMP positions on key issues in medication safety and error prevention.

NPSF Call to Action on Preventable Health Care Harm
Description: ISMP has endorsed this National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) call to action, which provides a framework for addressing patient safety and a coordinated public health response.

Self Assessments

ISMP Self Assessments
ISMP tools that help healthcare organizations assess their medication safety practices and compare aggregate data with other similar organizations.


Leading a Strategic Planning Effort
Developed as part of the Pathways for Patient Safety™ web tools intended to reduce risk of patient harm in physician practices, this manual helps create a system-based approach to error prevention.

Assessing Barcode Verification System Readiness in Community Pharmacies
Free tool to help community pharmacies identify what needs to be accomplished before implementing a barcode product verification system.

Building a Smart Infusion System Drug Library
This tool describes the process to build an infusion system drug library, including steps to consider for EHR integration.

Community Pharmacy Medication Safety Tools and Resources
ISMP tools that help community pharmacies and other ambulatory practice settings assess their medication safety practices and develop a medication safety program.

HYDROmorphone Analgesic Potency Compared to Morphine
This tool was created to help practitioners remember the equianalgesic potency of parenteral HYDROmorphone when compared to morphine sulfate, and is based on the 1:7 ratio often quoted in medical literature. Risk reduction strategies for reducing patient harm with HYDROmorphone are provided.

ISMP Assess-ERR™ Community Pharmacy Version
A medication system worksheet to assist community/ambulatory settings with error report investigation.

A medication system worksheet to assist with error report investigation.

National Patient Safety Foundation Guidelines on Root Cause Analysis
The National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) released guidelines developed to help health care organizations improve the way they investigate medical errors, adverse events, and near misses.

Quarterly Action Agenda (Free CE)
These agenda topics, which originally appeared in the ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition, have been prepared for your organization and interdisciplinary committee to stimulate discussion and action to reduce the risk of medication errors.

The Root Cause Analysis Workbook for Community/Ambulatory Pharmacy
The Root Cause Analysis Workbook for Community/Ambulatory Pharmacy, provides access to a coordinated, extensive set of tools designed to assist pharmacists in the process of minimizing the occurrence of medication errors.


Click here if you have any questions about these tools or if you have any suggestions.


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