Measuring the Cost of Medication Errors: Why and How?

Shai Moshel, Medical Division, Meuhedet Health Services, Tel Aviv, Israel (

Medication errors (MEs) account for as much as 10% of all medical errors worldwide, representing millions of preventable reported MEs and global annual cost of US$ 42 billion. Yet, it is assumed that less than 20% of MEs are actually reported, which makes it very difficult to assess the real scope of the problem, including both its clinical and economic implications. Another major challenge is how to measure MEs sequele and how to quantify its economic costs. Many different approaches have been used to calculate the cost of MEs. These approaches vary in terms of the methodology used, the degree of calculation's accuracy, stratification by drug type and ME severity, the perspective used etc.
While historical data analysis allows some level of certainty regarding the scope and cost of MEs, it is limited by incomplete data and it may be irrelevant in relation to current existing solutions. On the other hand, prospective monitoring may be time consuming and expensive. An interim solution may include economic models. Such models may provide a good assessment of the economic impact of MEs and the cost-effectiveness of adopting different interventions to reduce its scope. Thus, economic models serving as decision-supporting tools should be used routinly across healthcare organizations in the context of medication errors as well. Another important issue relates to possible conflicting interests between different stakeholders involved in ME reporting. It is of utmost importance that healthcare organizations and regulators work together in full cooperation and transparency in order to define clear criteria for medical quality, develop advanced reporting interfaces and systems and provide balanced incentives for both reporting and quality of care.

Abstract Reference & Short Personal Biography of Presenting Author

Dr. Shai Moshel is currently the head of Health Technologies Assessment at Meuhedet Health Services. Among his duties, he is in charge of numerous issues related to drug therapy's policy, including: coordination of Meuhedet's Drugs and Technologies' Committees, coordination of the health basket affairs, membership in the Committee for Exceptions to Drugs and Meuhedet's Committee of Helsinki. He is highly engaged with economic evaluation of medical technologies and highly involved in research related to drug therapy in general, and economic evaluations in particular.
Dr. Moshel is a graduate with highest honor (summa cum laude) of the School of Pharmacy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and holds his Doctor in Clinical Pharmacy degree (Pharm.D) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He also holds an MBA degree from Tel Aviv University, specializing in accounting and finance.

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