Are Maryland Doctors More Likely Than Pharmacy Technicians to Make Prescription Errors?

Prescription errors occur more often than many people would think. And the health professionals more likely to commit prescription errors may be surprising. A lot of attention has been given lately to overworked pharmacists who may be rushing to fill prescriptions. Yet, a new study reported an interesting finding that may have implications for Maryland patients and the Maryland prescription error victims.

According to an analysis in the European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, the study found that doctors make more errors than pharmacy technicians in transcribing discharge medicines. One source reported that an audit was completed to compare the transcription of discharge medicines. The analysis found that pharmacy technicians had a 3.8 percent error rate, while doctors had an 18.7 percent error rate. The doctors included in the analysis made 127 errors in transcribing 678 items, including 62 errors that were considered “significant,” and one that was considered “serious.” In comparison, pharmacy technicians only made 25 errors in transcribing 654 items, none of which were considered serious, and 16 of which were considered significant.

The pharmacy technicians reportedly received training at the hospital in transcribing medications from paper-based inpatient notes to an electronic discharge system, while the doctors did not receive the same training. Pharmacy technicians were also taught to seek additional clarification of any medical issues. One of the study’s authors speculated that pharmacy technicians were approaching the task with more focus. He also said that pharmacy technicians are generally trained to clarify any issues with the doctor and another pharmacist. However, experts noted that additional research was needed.

Prescription error victims typically have to prove that a medical professional was negligent during the process of prescribing or filling their medication, and that the medical professional’s negligence caused the victims’ injuries. In a Maryland pharmacy error claim based on negligence, a plaintiff must prove that: 1) the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care; 2) the defendant failed to meet the applicable standard of care; 3) the plaintiff was injured as a result of the defendant’s failure to meet the standard of care; and 4) the defendant’s wrongful conduct caused the plaintiff damages. Prescription error cases generally require the assistance of an expert who can explain how the professional acted negligently and how the professional’s negligent act impacted the plaintiff. Pharmacy error cases can also be complicated by the fact that many patients were already sick before they received the incorrect medication or dosage.

Contact a Maryland Pharmacy Error Attorney

If you have been injured as a result of the negligence of a healthcare professional, contact a Maryland personal injury attorney. You may be able to recover financial compensation for your injuries. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, our Maryland pharmacy error attorneys represent plaintiffs in pharmacy error cases and other medical malpractice cases in the Maryland and Washington, D.C. region. We understand the struggles that you are facing, and we aim to reduce the stress on you as much as possible so that you can get your life back on track. To set up a free consultation, call 1-800-654-1949 or contact us online.

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