Evaluating a medical error taxonomy

Publication Date



Proc AMIA Symp. 2002; 71–75.


Healthcare has been slow in using human factors principles to reduce medical errors. The Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) recognizes that a lack of attention to human factors during product development may lead to errors that have the potential for patient injury, or even death. In response to the need for reducing medication errors, the National Coordinating Council for Medication Errors Reporting and Prevention (NCC MERP) released the NCC MERP taxonomy that provides a standard language for reporting medication errors. This project maps the NCC MERP taxonomy of medication error to MedWatch medical errors involving infusion pumps. Of particular interest are human factors associated with medical device errors. The NCC MERP taxonomy of medication errors is limited in mapping information from MEDWATCH because of the focus on the medical device and the format of reporting.


Medical Errors/classification, Controlled Vocabulary


PMCID: PMC2244554