When Philadelphia patients are prescribed medication for a troubling condition, they often hope and trust that the medicine will improve their health and well-being. However, when medication errors occur, the consequences can be serious for patients. There are a range of issues that can affect the likelihood of a medication error, and medical staff can improve safety by keeping an eye on them.
One of the most common medication errors involves recording a prescription on the wrong patient’s record. Both hospitals and medical clinics use electronic health records or EHRs, but it can be all too easy to record an order on the wrong person’s file. One study found that, in a hospital with 1,500 beds, an average of 14 medication orders are placed each day for the wrong patient. When software solutions require additional verification of the patient’s identity, mistakes were reduced considerably. In other cases, the interface with which physicians interact to issue a prescription can cause confusion. Physicians may enter the concentration of a particular medication in the area for a patient’s daily dosage and vice versa.
Other medication mistakes are made due to outdated or incorrect beliefs on the part of health care providers. For example, 83 percent of nurses in one study said that they sometimes dilute adult intravenous push medications. While nurses may want to reduce discomfort or danger, additional and unnecessary dilution can put patients at risk of contamination, infection or other mistakes.
People who go to the hospital need the right medications; in fact, their lives can depend on it. Those who have harmed as a result of this type of an error might want to discuss their situation with a medical malpractice attorney.