Design for Patient Safety
The UK’s National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) is currently involved in a number of intiatives dealing with safer design.

Information Design for Patient Safety (pdf, 2.1 mb, 80 pages, 26 January 2006)
This guide shows how graphic design on medicine packaging can enhance patient safety and details best practice based on established guidelines. It is aimed at packaging designers and pharmaceutical companies. It will also be of interest to those in the NHS who regulate and purchase medication. The guide is based on the results of a one-year design research collaboration between the NPSA and the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre (HHRC) at the Royal College of Art, London. The study was carried out by Thea Swayne, a postgraduate specialist in information and graphic design and involved user research of patients, pharmaceutical industry personnel, nurses, pharmacists and staff of the NHS agencies.

Some related materials

Design for Patient Safety (pdf, 960 kb, 45 pages, October 2003)
This report sets out a perspective from the world of design – based on a scoping study carried out by a research team from the Universities of Cambridge and Surrey and the Royal College of Art – to identify previously unrecognised opportunities for improved patient safety in the NHS and advocates a system-wide design-led approach to tackling patient safety.

Almus – drug packaging (Design Council case study)
A new design for pharmaceutical packaging is making life easier for pharmacists by reducing the potential for dispensing errors and improving patient safety

Boxing clever (Design Council, April 2004)
A new design is promising to cut the number of medical mistakes made because of prescription drug packaging