User-friendly medication pack design can boost patient safety

21 December 2016

Past research has indicated that inadequate or confusing labeling on packages of over-the-counter (OTC) medications is a likely contributor to many unintentional overdoses. "Package Design Affects Accuracy Recognition for Medications," published in the December issue of Human Factors, suggests that a simple redesign of medication packages can lead to a decrease in the frequency of patient errors and accidental overdoses.
The authors evaluated user responses to the original packages of generic OTC medication compared with packages that they redesigned in a number of ways. Error rates were high with the original packaging but decreased for the redesigned packages (HFES News, 9 December 2016).
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