Adverse drug events affect approximately 10% of patients in hospitals and result in increased rates of morbidity and mortality. These adverse events extend hospital stays an estimated 1.7 to 2.2 days and increase costs by approximately $3,200 for patients who are affected. Nurses play a key role in reducing risks of adverse drug events. Through purposeful, planned actions, nurses can help to curtail unexpected costs and can further promote safe patient care. Specific problem areas of the drug delivery system resulting in high numbers of significant (lethal or severe) drug events can be targeted for precautionary actions. An interdisciplinary "safety net" can be developed and maintained to reduce these events. Guidelines are recommended for system-wide approaches to prevention and continuous quality improvement activities.