Most people trust their physicians and pharmacists and, for the most part, with good reason. A large number of Colorado medical professionals are diligent, trustworthy and go the extra mile to ensure exemplary patient care. However, even among the most conscientious medical providers, mistakes happen. Medication errors are often undetected unless the dosage or wrong medicine causes physical symptoms that may be damaging or deadly.
Despite the best efforts of technology in streamlining the process of dispensing medications, errors still occur and will likely continue to occur as long as humans are involved. There are a variety of causes for medication errors, including prescribing providers looking at the wrong chart when calling in a medication, or hospital staff erroneously mixing up charts for patients who may be sharing a hospital room.
While most hospitals and pharmacies have established protocol for correctly identifying patients before dispensing medications, some of these facilities have relied on friends or family for identity verification. Unfortunately, when consequences arise from cutting corners or lapses in attention, it is usually the patient who suffers.
Taking precautionary measures can help to ensure that problems with erroneous medications are kept to a minimum or, even better, prevented altogether. If an error in a prescription medication occurs, it might be wise to seek out the services of a qualified and experienced medical malpractice attorney. Whether the matter is settled in a courtroom or with an independent settlement, seeking to have the negligent medical provider pay damages to compensate the victim will also serve to alert others to the existence of the problem.
Source: medcitynews.com, "Why are medication orders going to the wrong patients? Here are four reasons", Stephanie Baum, June 07, 2013