A Healthier Wisconsin

Reducing Medication Errors

Promoting the adoption and use of patient-centered prescription labels across health systems in Wisconsin

Full Project Name:Reducing Medication Errors: Adopting Evidence-Based Directions for Use on Prescription LabelsPrimary Community Organization:Wisconsin Literacy, Inc.Primary Academic Partner:Kenneth G. Schellhase, MD, MPH, Family MedicineAward Amount:$468,413
Award Date
Project Duration:36 months

Project Description Narrative:

Studies show that more than 1/3 of U.S adults have only a basic level of health literacy. Due to this, 50% of medications are taken incorrectly, causing unnecessary post-discharge complications, hospitalizations, and even death. Over the past seven years, Wisconsin Health Literacy and partners have been successfully working with pharmacies to redesign prescription labels using evidence-based standards. The result has been increased patient understanding, improved adherence to medications, and reduced health disparities. However, due to software and other limitations, a vital gap remains in improving the directions for use on prescriptions.

Through this award, project partners aim to bridge this gap by working with Wisconsin health systems to adopt changes in the electronic health record software that will make the use of evidence-based prescription labels and directions for use the default choice for prescribers.

Community partners: Epic Systems, Wisconsin Medical Society, Wisconsin Hospital Association, Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, Advocate Aurora Health Care, UW Health, UW-Madison School of Pharmacy, Emory University

Project Updates:

  • Worked with Advocate Aurora Health to plan for and implement Epic's Universal Medication Schedule (UMS) Sig feature, which was implemented in June 2022
  • Worked with the University of Wisconsin Health Pharmacy and members of the Project Advisory Council to plan for implementation of Epic's Sig feature
  • Continued to meet with key stakeholders to educate prescribers on the systems change and updated medication labels
  • Engaging in communication and marketing efforts to promote the project, including lectures to UW health students, interviews on public radio, journal submissions, and conference presentations

Related Projects

AHW Logo

8701 W Watertown Plank Road,
Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509
(414) 955-4350