New Technology to Reduce Deadly Medication Mistakes
New York City, NY – Top attorney handles medical malpractice, medical misdiagnosis, doctor errors, surgical errors, MTA train and bus accidents, wrongful death, airline injuries & death, and construction accident cases. Attorney Jonathan C. Reiter consistently delivers results.
Reports state that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. What many people may not realize is that medication mistakes make up a significant portion of these fatalities.
Drug mistakes can happen in a variety of ways. In some cases, a patient is given a medication with a name that sounds very similar to the medication he or she is supposed to receive. In other cases, a nurse or doctor writes down the wrong medication, or the pharmacist misreads the name of the medication on the prescription. There have also been cases in which a pharmacist or health professional gave a patient the wrong dose of a drug, resulting in serious harm to the patient. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a medication mistake, you should discuss your case with one of the top medical malpractice lawyers in NYC like attorney Jonathan C. Reiter.
Facts About Medication Mistakes
Statistics indicate that medication errors are a serious problem.
- 44 percent of hospitals with between 50 and 500 beds are forced to readmit a patient at least once a month due to a medication error.
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) receives 100,000 reports every year about medication mistakes.
- Adverse drug events cause 3.5 million doctor’s visits and 1 million trips to the emergency room every year.
- Medication mistakes affect 7 million people each year.
- Medication errors result in approximately $21 billion in damage to patients every year.
Medication mistakes impact millions of people every year, and they cause a multitude of adverse health consequences for patients across the country.
While there are ways for patients to be their own advocates when it comes to avoiding drug interactions, patients aren’t always able to ensure they are receiving the correct medication in the correct dosage.
For example, a patient undergoing surgery would not be able to check that the medication they’re receiving is safe for them to take, or that the doctor administering the drug is giving the correct dose or type of medication.
As medicine becomes more technologically advanced, experts are constantly looking for new ways to improve patient safety.
In one study, health care professionals in South Carolina found that using a specific type of checklist during surgery reduced patient mortality rates. Most hospitals already use checklists, but the development of more detailed and nuanced checklists may lead to better outcomes and fewer errors.
Tracking Mistakes as They Happen
Researchers have also developed technology systems that track medication administration in real time. The idea is that the system can detect possible drug interactions and errors before the patient receives the medication. When the system identifies a potential problem, it will alert health care personnel and hopefully prevent a medication error before it happens.
Studies have also led to the development of technology that assesses patients and uses algorithms to identify patients who pose a higher risk of experiencing a medication mistake compared to others.
Tips for Avoiding Medication Mistakes
According to the FDA, there are things patients themselves can do to avoid experiencing a medication mistake.
- Know Your Medications – Patients should know what kind of medications they’re taking and what conditions the medicine is supposed to treat. Patients should also ask their health care providers how they should take the drug and how they should store it.
- Always Check Labels – Even if a patient has been taking a certain kind of drug for years, they should always check the label when they pick it up from the pharmacy. Make sure it’s the right name and dose on the label. Patients should also inspect the medication itself to make sure the contents inside the bottle or packet are correct.
- Store Drugs in the Original Packaging – The FDA advises patients to keep their drugs in the original bottle or container. If you store your medication with other drugs, you could lose track of what you’re taking. Medications also expire, and it’s more difficult to monitor expiration dates if you lose the original bottle.
- Make a List – Patients should also make a list of every medication they take, including over the counter drugs. If they see a new provider, this can help the doctor avoid prescribing anything new that may conflict with current medications and lead to an adverse drug reaction.
Having a list can also come in handy when a patient feels rushed in a doctor’s office or hospital. By having everything written down, they’re less likely to forget a medication.
- Ask Questions – Patients should never hesitate to ask their health care provider questions about medications. Ask why the provider is prescribing a certain drug, what the drug is supposed to treat, and what the patient can expect to experience when they take it. Some people find it helpful to write their questions down before they visit their doctor’s office.
Drug mistakes in New York can have serious health consequences. An individual who has experienced a drug mistake should speak to a New York City medical malpractice lawyer about their case. With years of experience as a medical malpractice lawyer in NYC, Attorney Jonathan C. Reiter has established his New York medical malpractice law office as one of the top law firms in New York.
New York Medical Malpractice Attorney Jonathan C. Reiter
Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case. Recoveries always depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case, the injuries suffered, damages incurred, and the responsibility of those involved.