When a person goes to their pharmacy to get a prescription filled, they hope that it is accurate. However, if there is a problem with the prescription—whether it be the dosage, the instructions, or the drug itself—the patient has an opportunity to review the prescription before ingesting the medication. However, this is not the case in the fast-paced environment of emergency rooms.
Medication errors in emergency rooms are frighteningly common and can carry with them devastating results. However, according to one recent article by the Pharmacy Times, a newly released study shows that there may be something that drug manufacturers can do to decrease medication errors in the surgical and emergency room settings.
Label Design and Its Effect on Error Rate
According to the new study cited in the article, several types of intravenous medications had their labels redesigned after having a team of pharmacists, anesthesiologists, and nurse anesthetists suggest changes that make the label more reader-friendly. The researchers then conducted a study using trainees where the trainee would have to select the requested medication in a fast-paced environment. Researchers used a control group that consisted of trainees using the old labels in order to compare the results.
The results of the study were unmistakable. The correct medication was chosen 63% of the time when the new redesigned labels were used. This compares to a 40% correct selection rate when the old labels were used.
Of course, this also means that when old labels were used there was an error rate of 60%, compared to an error rate of 37% when the redesigned labels were used. While this is certainly an improvement, both figures are alarmingly high.
Pharmacy Errors in Fast-Paced Environments
The results of the study suggest that even a 37% error rate exists when a redesigned label is used. To many, this may seem like an unacceptably high rate of error given the potential consequences of a mistake. Indeed, while the study was conducted with trainees, and not with licensed pharmacists, the numbers are still quite alarming.
What To Do after a Pharmacy Misfill
When a pharmacist or hospital provides a patient with the incorrect medication, and they are injured as a result, the pharmacy or hospital can be held liable for the injuries caused. Of course, the injured patient must file and prevail in a lawsuit against the responsible party. For help understanding what needs to be proved to be successful in a case against a pharmacy or hospital for a medication error, speak with a dedicated Maryland pharmacy error attorney.
Are You in Need of an Attorney?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured after being provided an incorrect medication or prescription by a pharmacist or hospital, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled advocates at the Maryland pharmacy error law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have decades of combined experience bringing cases against negligent physicians and pharmacists. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free initial consultation with an attorney today.
More Blog Posts:
Woman Hospitalized for “Poisoning” After Pharmacist’s Error, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, February 23, 2015.
California Costco Pharmacy Mis-Fills One Patient’s Prescription Twice in One Year, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, January 22, 2015.