In the old days, a pharmacist’s job hardly resembled what it does today. With hundreds of patients coming in to fill tens of thousands of prescriptions each month, the average pharmacist is extremely busy. This leaves them with little time to spend with each patient, and it may even result in the pharmacist rushing through important safety measures just to keep up with the workload.
The situation in hospital pharmacies is similar; with patients constantly being admitted and discharged, it can be difficult for pharmacists to keep all of the patients and medications straight. This has led hospitals across the country to rely more on technology. And it seems to be working in reducing Maryland pharmacy error rates and rates in other states.
According to a recent news article, the use of electronic health records (EHRs) and computerized prescriber-order-entry (CPOE) systems has greatly reduced the number of medication errors in hospitals nationwide. As a result, these systems have been widely adopted, with approximately 99% of hospitals using EHRs and 97% of hospitals using CPOE systems to fill at least some portions of the prescriptions filled in the hospital.
To be sure, these more technologically advanced methods of filling and keeping track of prescriptions are a great improvement upon those that used to be scrawled on a pad of paper. However, these systems are hardly error-proof. Computers rely on humans to program and operate them, and even the most advanced prescription-filling software cannot eliminate the risk of human error completely. Indeed, there have been reports of errors even when these systems are used.
Additionally, while the use of computerized prescription systems greatly reduces the chance of a transcription error, certain risks cannot be eliminated. For example, many pharmacy errors involve an adverse event that is caused by a patient’s individual reaction to a medication. Thus, if a patient has an allergy to a certain medication or is taking another medication that has a negative reaction when taken with a certain medication, this information must manually be input into the system. If the information is not in the system, the error will not be prevented.
Pharmacy Error Lawsuits
When a pharmacist makes an error, and a patient suffers harm as a result, the injured patient may be able to pursue a claim for compensation through a Maryland pharmacy error lawsuit. These claims, while straightforward in concept, can be very complex in practice, often requiring several expert witnesses. Anyone considering filing a Maryland pharmacy error claim should consult with a dedicated personal injury attorney today.
Have You Been a Victim of a Pharmacy Error?
If you or a loved one has recently suffered harm after being provided the wrong medication by a hospital or pharmacy, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled Maryland pharmacy error attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have extensive experience handling all types of pharmacy error claims, including those arising from retail pharmacies and hospitals. We offer a client-centered approach to our representation and tailor our services to the needs of each of our clients. To learn more, and to schedule your free consultation, call 410-654-3600 today.
More Blog Posts:
The Risks of Pharmacy Compounding Errors in Hospitals May Be Under-Appreciated, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, September 15, 2017.
New Insulin Use Guidelines Aim to Reduce Risk of Insulin Prescription Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, October 2, 2017.