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RNs may be able to lower medication errors

Connecticut nursing home registered nurses have a variety of responsibilities. A 2015 University of Missouri study indicated that they are more competent at detecting medication errors at those facilities than are licensed practical nurses.

When patient charts are analyzed by RNs who are knowledgeable about drug interactions, the likelihood of adverse reactions are lowered. This process is called medication reconciliation. The study indicated that medication reconciliation opportunities are available in nursing homes because of the ability for RNs to perform patient evaluation and security duties as opposed to the hands-on patient assignments that are delegated to LPNs.

RNs and LPNs are each valuable to nursing care facilities, but they are not necessarily fungible. However, RNs offer specialized care that is needed when reducing medication injuries. Unfortunately, they are not utilized at a greater level at nursing homes, for a variety of reasons, including resources and support systems. It is suggested that if additional research is conducted which can show how great the need is for RNs and LPNs to perform medication reconciliation duties, the security level of patient care could increase.

A medication error in a nursing home facility can include a failure to read a doctor's handwriting properly, a dosage or drug mistake, or not checking a patient's chart for allergies. As a result, a medication-related injury can occur that could result in significant harm to the patient. A medical malpractice lawyer can provide legal advice to a patient and family members about what can be done to recover financially from prescription medication errors or a fatal one.

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