The most common medical error involves medication. Medication errors can occur at any point in the delivery chain of ordering, transcribing, dispensing, administering or monitoring drug effects. Medication, from beginning to end, is a complex process involving multiple healthcare providers. Many of the healthcare providers in the chain many be separate and distinct companies from the ordering and administering company and may be unknown to the patient or the patient’s family. Hiring an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who understands this complex process is critical to proving your case and to finding the breakdown in the process that caused the error so the right healthcare providers are held accountable.
How do medication errors occur?
Medication errors occur not only in the hospital but in the doctor’s office, pharmacy, senior living center/nursing home or your own home. Kids are particularly at risk for medication errors because they usually need different drug dosing than adults. The most common causes of medication errors are errors in dose calculation, poor communication between healthcare providers, medications that look alike or sound alike, poor communication between the patient and the provider or poor medical abbreviation.
Medication errors are preventable yet they harm approximately 1.5 million people per year in the country. The extra medical costs of treating drug related medical errors is $3.5 billion per year, and this estimate does not take into account lost wages or productivity or additional healthcare costs. AMCP.org. Adverse medication errors should be reported to MedWatch: MedWatch Online Voluntary Reporting Form (fda.gov)