This Design for Patient Safety report shows how safer packaging design concepts can help to improve patient safety associated with the use of injectable medicines.
Between January 2005 and June 2007, the National Reporting and Learning Service (NRLS) received 59,000 reports of patient safety incidents involving medicines. Those involving injectable medicines accounted for 25 per cent of all the medication incidents, and 58 per cent of the most serious incidents; those that resulted in death or serious harm to the patient.
Research has shown that a third of reported medication incidents may be caused by confusion over packaging and labelling.
This publication illustrates how graphic design can be used to change and improve current packaging design practice. In particular, it focuses on the safe design of the labelling and packaging of injectable medicine products. Products include small ampoules, vials, prefilled syringes and large infusion bags.
It is intended as a best practice guide to be used by packaging designers and pharmaceutical companies, as well as a reference guide for those involved in the procurement of medicines in the NHS.
These guidelines are intended for all injectable medicines in use in England and Wales, including unlicensed specials (manufactured both by hospital pharmacy departments and commercial manufacturers), clinical trial supplies and parallel imported medicines.