Medication errors are all too common in many hospitals and medical facilities, but there are some basic steps that medical practitioners can take to prevent these mistakes from happening. Along with ensuring that medications and dosages are appropriate for a patient, medical staff should also ensure that individuals being transferred from another facility are given correct medication and that medication orders are clear.
When a doctor prescribes a drug or treatment, nurses should be sure that the it is the correct medication and the correct dosage. This means checking that the medication treats the patient’s condition and that it is the correct dose. Additionally, nurses should verify that the person receiving a treatment does not have an allergy to the drug and that it will not interact poorly with another medication.
It is also important that medical staff verify that a transferred patient is getting the correct treatment. Sometimes transcriptions are incomplete or inaccurate, so it is essential to verify which and how much medications transferred patients receive. Other ways to avoid errors include putting zeros before decimal points to ensure correct dosages and to use similar name alerts to prevent patients from being given another individual’s medications.
Whatever the cause of a medication error, it can be dangerous for a patient. If someone is prescribed the wrong drug, not only will their condition not be treated appropriately, they may also develop additional problems. In some cases, medication errors can have fatal results. When not receiving the correct medication causes harm to someone, a lawyer could possibly assist him or her by explaining options for legal recourse.