The World Health Organization (WHO) has created a resource intended to promote safer use of medicines. The resource, principally intended for consumers, identifies key opportunities to reduce the risk of harm associated with the use of medications, with each moment associated with 5 questions that can provoke consideration and perhaps also to trigger a consultation with a health professional. Opportunities suggested to explore the concepts include when visiting a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or dentist; or a primary health care facility or pharmacy, at the time of admission or discharged from a health care facility (mostly a hospital), when referred or transferred to another health care facility, or when receiving treatment and care at home. The five moments have been identified as when:

  • Starting a medication
  • Taking medication
  • Adding a medication
  • Reviewing medications
  • Stopping medication

A series of reflective questions are suggested for each of the five moments. The WHO have created a patient-oriented resource, which can be downloaded here