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Some common medication errors

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2021 | Medication Errors

Worried about medication errors in your prescription? There are some common mistakes that occur due to errors in dispensing; doctors and pharmacists can prevent them. Residents of San Diego and other areas of California will want to know more about what is being done by the government to make these mistakes less common.

According to NCBI, 7,000 to 9,000 people die as a result of a medication error every year. Because of this, patient trust in the healthcare system has diminished, and dissatisfaction is on the rise.

The government hopes to take the following actions:

  • Identify common problems
  • Review where mistakes are likely to occur
  • Outline prevention strategies
  • Summarize strategies for implementation

What are common mistakes?

According to the Joint Commission, World Health Organization, and The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, the following are the common medication errors:

  • Patient information missing or wrong
  • Orders transcribed incorrectly
  • Lack of drug knowledge
  • Allergy history not considered
  • Order not fully checked
  • Tracking mistakes
  • Poor communication between professionals

Some causes for the mistakes

Expiration due to improper storage may be an issue. Timing, dose and strength may be wrong. The form of the dosage, such as extended-release, may be wrong. The patient may take the medication with incorrect action; education can correct this.

Pharmacist distraction and mistakes may happen; ignoring patient counseling due to time, lack of staff or other reasons may take place. Handwriting may be illegible, another reason for an error.

Some recommended ways for doctors to prevent errors

  • Writing only one prescription for a medication
  • Circling doctor’s name on the prescription
  • Checking that dose and frequency is correct
  • Knowing side effects of the medicine
  • Using no abbreviation when writing a prescription
  • Adding the patient’s age and weight on each prescription
  • Checking for the function of the liver and kidneys before ordering medication

The doctor should write the frequency and duration of the therapy while being aware of which medicines are high risk. He or she should write the condition for which treatment is being given on the prescription.

If you are suffering as a result of a medication or other medical error, it is smart to consult an attorney with experience in this type of law. They may help you get the compensation you deserve.