About the Program

The Medicine Safety: A Toolkit for Families was developed by The Center for Improving Medication Management (The CIMM) and the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) to help ensure that consumers of all ages  have access to important information and educational resources to promote safe and appropriate medicine use.

As baby boomers age and life expectancy continues to lengthen, more and more Americans are falling into what’s been termed the “sandwich generation”—raising and caring for their children and aging parents. Trying to balance family responsibilities and worrying about your family’s health can be overwhelming. Medicines are often an integral part of managing various health ailments and medical conditions. Our focus on the family is intended to equip consumers—parents, children and, in many cases, older parents for whom caregiving services are being provided—with the information, knowledge and skills needed to take medicines properly.   

Why Pay Attention to Medication Safety?

According to recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), patients in the United States made over 1.1 billion visits to physician offices and hospital outpatient and emergency departments in 2006. That’s an average of four visits per person per year. During that same year, seven out of 10 visits had at least one medication provided, prescribed, or continued.*  (Ref: “Americans Made Over 1 Billion Hospital and Doctor Visits in 2006,”CDC/NCHS Office of Communication, August 7, 2008,  see http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2008/r080806.htm)  For physician office visits alone, four out of five Americans who visit the doctor leave with a prescription. 

When used correctly, medicines can provide tremendous benefit. Consumers are encouraged to share information about their medical and medication history, take part in decisions about treatment, follow the treatment plan, watch for problems and seek medical help if needed. The Medicine Safety: A Toolkit for Families offers onscreen and linked information, as well as a wide range of downloadable materials to help prepare for medical visits, participate in medication discussions, take or monitor medicine by others in the home, and report any medicine-related problems.

The goal: Better health through better medicine communication.
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Project Advisory Team — Medicine Safety: A Toolkit for Families

Scott Barclay
CVS Caremark
Woonsocket, RI

Kate Berry
Senior Vice President, Business Development
Surescripts, and
Executive Director
The Center for Improving Medication Management
Alexandria, VA

Mark Blatt
Director, Health Industry Solutions
Intel Corporation
Folsom, CA

Ray Bullman
Executive Vice President
National Council on Patient Information and Education
Bethesda, MD

Rebecca Burkholder, J.D.
Vice President of Health Policy
National Consumers League
Washington, DC

Kim Caldwell
Director, Pharmacy Outcomes Research
Humana, Inc.
McKinney, TX

Paul Cotton
Senior Legislative Representative
Washington, DC

Amanda Crowe, MA, MPH
Impact Health Communications, LLC

Deborah Davidson
Membership Director
National Council on Patient Information and Education
Bethesda, MD

Vince Giglotti
Senior Manager, Marketing Communications
Alexandria, VA

Dana Guilfoyle
Vice President, Communications
Medical Group Management Association
Englewood, CO

Casey Kozlowski (Handal), R.Ph., MBA
Manager, Automation and Technology Development
Walgreen CO.
Deerfield, IL

Michael Lake
Consultant to The CIMM
San Francisco, CA 

Pat Perry
Vice President, Digital Health Group
General Manager, Healthcare Information Technology
Intel Corporation
Folsom, CA

Marlene Povich
Povich Design
Bethesda, MD

Lee Rucker, MSPH
Washington, DC

Anna Howard Schwamlein
Washington, DC

Tracy Timberlake
Director, Center for Consumer Messaging
Humana Pharmacy Solutions
Louisville, KY

Steve Waldren, M.D.
American Academy of Family Physicians
Leawood, KS