Our Research | SafeMedicate

Safety in numbers: The impact towards reducing global medication dosage calculation problem-solving (MDC-PS) error through the design and application of virtual authentic learning & assessment environments.

Key achievements

  • Nursing students’ calculation skills are statistically significantly different after using the authentic learning environment compared with using traditional ‘chalk and talk’ methods
  • First year nursing students had a 33% error rate on a safeMedicate numeracy test. This changed after using safeMedicate linked with exposure to clinical practice. All of the students demonstrated 100% cognitive competence in the safeMedicate assessments & 100% functional competence in practice based assessments
  • Informed the education and training of over 145,000 students in six countries across four continents – including the USA
  • Transformed registered nurses’ ability to transform care by calculating doses and giving medicines safely
  • Changed undergraduate nursing curricula in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Qatar and Poland
  • Changed UK Nursing Regulator policy
  • Formation of the USW spin-out company Authentic World Ltd


A 21-year programme of translational research led by Professor Keith Weeks involved seminal PhD research
the formation of the USW spin-out company Authentic World Ltd and the development of safeMedicate, a medication dosage calculation virtual education environment.

Background to the research

Medication errors are a worldwide problem. 6,000 medication errors are reported monthly in the UK and in the USA 1.5 million people are harmed ever year by medication errors. Staff incompetence, and poor training and assessment contribute to these errors.

About safeMedicate

safeMedicate is an e-learning solution for developing and assessing competence for safe drug calculations. It uses real world features and expert real world practice to link with the maths used to solve dosage calculation problems and transform care. Healthcare students use a virtual world to bridge the gap between theory and practice. This helps them develop their knowledge and skills without harming real people and reduces errors in practice

Safety in Numbers Paper Series

This ten-paper series traces the 20-year history of translation research that underpins the design, development and international evaluation of the safeMedicate suite of programmes. Download the papers.

Research team

Professor Keith Weeks
Professor Laurence Moseley