This site has not been optimised for Internet Explorer due to Microsoft no longer providing support for the browser. Please view this site using another browser such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.
Te Pū rauemi KOWHEORI-19 COVID-19 resource hub

Support for people working in health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find information about how you can support yourselves and others, including consumers, teams and colleagues which complements and aligns with Ministry of Health resources.

Kia āta kōwhiri Choosing Wisely

The Choosing Wisely campaign seeks to reduce harm from unnecessary and low-value tests and treatment.

Back to previous page

ALERT 4: Error-prone abbreviations, symbols and dose designations NOT TO USE

15 Nov 2021


To eliminate the risk associated with the use of error-prone abbreviations, symbols and dose designations when communicating any type of medicine-related information verbally, handwritten, pre-printed or electronically. Click the pdf link below to download the alert.

Related resources

Click here for a poster detailing error prone abbreviations, symbols and dose designations not to use. The poster lists abbreviations, symbols and dose designations that have been reported internationally as being frequently misinterpreted and involved in harmful medication errors.

Click here for information on the FDA/ISMP Campaign to Eliminate Dangerous Abbreviations in the United States.

Click here to read an article from the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety about the impact of abbreviations on patient safety.   

Click here for more information on the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCCMERP) stance on abbreviations.

Click here to read the article from the Health Improvement & Innovation Resource Centre (HIIRC) about the Commission’s work on eliminating error-prone medication abbreviations.

Published: 15 Nov 2021 Modified: 15 Nov 2021