people comparing reports

Error Reporting and Analysis

Using today’s report to prevent tomorrow’s error

Whether you have experienced a medication error or want to be kept apprised of other medication safety risks, ISMP is your trusted resource. Central to ISMP’s medication safety efforts is our trio of national error reporting programs. These free programs use the thousands of reports gathered each year to educate the healthcare community and to develop strategies for preventing medication errors in the future. 

Through our follow-up with reporters, expert analysis, and extensive communication with stakeholders, we identify the contributing factors and causes of the errors. Our goal and passion is to share the “lessons learned” from your reports with you and the healthcare community. The stories you share fuel our advocacy for practice and product design improvement. Findings and strategies are communicated through our newsletters, educational programs, and discussions with the healthcare community, consumers, and accrediting and regulatory bodies. 

Your medication error report is critical to preventing future risks to patients. ISMP’s error reporting programs include the following.

ISMP National Medication Errors Reporting Program (ISMP MERP)

Started in 1975, the cornerstone of ISMP’s medication error prevention efforts is the ISMP National Medication Errors Reporting Program.  The ISMP MERP is the first and only voluntary, practitioner-based medication error-reporting program. The objectives of the ISMP MERP are:

  • Learn the underlying causes of reported medication errors or hazards
  • Disseminate valuable recommendations to organizations to prevent future errors 
  • Provide guidance to healthcare community, regulatory agencies, and pharmaceutical and device manufacturers

ISMP National Vaccine Errors Reporting Program (ISMP VERP)

ISMP, in cooperation with the California Department of Public Health Immunization Branch, developed the ISMP National Vaccine Errors Reporting Program in 2012. This program is the only national vaccine error surveillance program in the U.S. The ISMP VERP captures the unique causes and consequences of vaccine-related errors, and ISMP’s analyses typically become the basis for recommendations on safe vaccine practices.

ISMP Consumer Medication Errors Reporting Program (ISMP C-MERP)

ISMP’s Consumer Medication Errors Reporting Program was designed to enable consumers to report medication errors, near misses, or hazardous situations. Reports submitted to the nationally recognized ISMP C-MERP are a critical first step to protecting millions of patients from the possibility of similar medication errors.