VHA National Center for Patient Safety
Patient-Centric Prescription Labeling
NCPS pharmacists conducted a national study to develop a single standardized prescription label for use within the VA in 2011. The study evaluated the impact of culture, age and education on the understanding of current VA prescription labels and a proposed patient-centric prescription label: 446 Veterans at 11 survey sites and 697 VA pharmacy staff participated.
The goal was to determine how best to serve the VA’s 4.6 million pharmacy users who receive nearly 136 million prescriptions each year.
The study identified ways to redesign prescription labels in a format that would support Veterans’ preferences and enhance their comprehension of important drug information. A trial of the new format was conducted in 2012 at three Veterans Integrated Service Networks and a VA outpatient clinic.
Based on the study and trial, VA-wide roll-out of a new standardized patient-centric prescription label began in 2013.
- VHA Health News January 2015: A New and Improved VA Prescription Label