Medication errors are an unfortunately common occurrence. Medication errors can happen in many different ways, from prescribing the wrong medication to improperly administering medication. While patients can exercise caution and use their judgment to protect themselves from these dangerous yet preventable mistakes, the responsibility of protecting the patient ultimately falls on the medical professionals entrusted with their care. Doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals could all have played a role in patient’s suffering. So, what are the steps doctors can take to prevent medication errors?
Arm the Patient with Knowledge
Not all patients will ask questions or know what types of questions to ask when they are prescribed a new medication. In order to avoid medication errors due to the failure to warn patients about what to do or not to do with the given drugs, a doctor should provide answers to common questions, including:
- What is the dosage?
- What is the drug supposed to do?
- What should I do if I miss a dosage or take more than the prescribed dosage?
- Should the medication be taken at a particular time of day, or be taken with food or drink?
- What should I avoid doing while on the medication? (driving, eating, smoking, other medicines, etc.)
- What side effects should I look out for or be wary of? (headaches, drowsiness, nausea, blood clotting, etc.)
Thorough Medication Reconciliation
Your doctor, or any other healthcare provider, is obligated to conduct a medication reconciliation. Essentially, this process aims to compile a complete and accurate list of all medications a patient is taking each time the patient undergoes a transition in care. The goal is providing correct medications to the patient at all transition points within the hospital. Medication reconciliation evaluates all patient medication to ensure no medication errors happen due to duplicate medications, wrong dosages, adverse drug interactions, etc.
Encourage Communication From the Patient
Doctors should provide essential knowledge to the patient on how to take their medication correctly, and encourage patients to ask any questions and voice concerns. The doctor needs the most up-to-date information on all medications a patient is currently taking (prescription and over-the-counter drugs) to plan a course of treatment, and not cause new or worsened injuries to the patient.
It’s possible that a doctor who fails to take sufficient steps at informing and protecting their patients from medication errors can be held liable for medical malpractice. Speak with an attorney from The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek today to learn more about your options.
Contact The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, LLC Today
Do you believe that you or your loved one has suffered as a result of medical malpractice or medical neglect? You need to talk to an experienced team of local lawyers today.
The lawyers at Cardaro & Peek, LLC have the experience and resources necessary to investigate and litigate all types of medical claims throughout Maryland and Washington D.C. Cardaro & Peek, LLC has medical personnel on staff and has access to nationally recognized, board-certified physicians and other experts, to assist in the investigation, analysis, and prosecution of all types of medical malpractice claims. If you or a loved one have experienced malpractice, give us a call at 410-752-6166. Please visit our website www.cardarolaw.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more information.