Pharmacy errors are a serious problem in the American healthcare system. With nearly four billion prescriptions nationwide, and only 240,000 pharmacists, the ratio is not a favorable one for the patient looking to get his or her prescription filled. In fact, by some estimates, there are 2.2 to 3.7 million medication-dispensing errors each year. This equates to over 7,000 deaths each year across the country.
Some hospitals are stepping up efforts to help reduce the number of pharmacy errors that occur in their facilities. According to a report by News-Press.com, Lee Memorial Health System in southern Florida has implemented a number of procedures that help with the rising rates of pharmacy errors. Below are a few of the steps the hospital has taken:
- Computerized Prescriber Order Entry and Electronic Records ensure that the prescription that the doctor wants to provide to his or her patient is the one that is submitted to the pharmacist.
- Bedside Barcode Medication Administration assigns each patient a barcode with all their medical information accessible to nurses and doctors who can scan the code. This helps decrease the chances of a medication mix-up.
- Smart Infusion IV Pumps alert medical staff to any improper or excessive dose when they attempt to administer such a dose.
- Integrated Care puts pharmacists on the front line with ER doctors to help make the medicine decisions.
These steps, and others not appearing in the list above, have helped Lee Memorial Health remain medication-error free for the past 36 months straight.
Medication Errors in Maryland Hospitals
As you can see from the above article, there are a number of steps that pharmacies and hospitals can take to reduce the risk of causing a serious medical error. However, all too often doctors and pharmacists are too busy themselves to implement these types of procedures, and in some cases it isn’t their job to do so.
In many cases, the burden to ensure a safe system lies with the hospital or pharmacy, rather than the individuals employed there. Therefore, when a medical-error plaintiff comes to us with a potential case, we look into who else may be responsible for their injuries rather than going with only the obvious choices.
Have You Been Injured By a Maryland Medication Error?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured by a medication error that you believe to be the fault of the prescribing doctor, or the pharmacy where the prescription was filled, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries. The Maryland-based personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC has years of experience litigating pharmacy error cases and knows how to successfully navigate the complex litigation landscape of these unique cases. To learn more about the laws that allow the victims of medication-error cases to recover from those responsible for their injuries, click here or call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Parents Have a Hard Time When Dosing Children’s Medication Because of Metric-System Conversion, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, July 30, 2014.
Prescription Error Causes Man to Permanently Lose His Sight, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, July 16, 2014.